Biodiversity and ecology of potential vectors (Insecta: Hemiptera: Auchenorryncha) of Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al. in coffee plants of Puerto Rico
Xylella fastidiosa(Xf) is a xylem-limited bacterium that is the causal agent of coffee leaf scorch (CLS) in Central America. The purpose of this research was to survey potential vectors of Xf in plantings of coffee, Coffee arabica L., in Puerto Rico. These surveys were conducted from June to November 2006 on four farms, located in the municipalities of Yauco, Juana Diaz and Adjuntas. Insects were collected at each site at 15-day intervals. The 7,423 individuals collected belonged to five families and 12 species. Cicadellidae was the primary family in both number of species and number of individuals. Indexes of dominance, abundance, frequency and constancy showed Agallia pulchra, Apogonalia imitatrix, Caribovia coffeacola and Hortensia similis to be the predominant species. Indexes also showed significant differences among locations, with higher diversity and equitability on Yauco farms, and higher dominance in Adjuntas. Of the four dominant species, Apogonalia imitatrix, C. coffeacola and H. similis are all xylem fluid feeders, and thus may be potential vectors of Xf. Apogonalia imitatrix represents the first report of the species for Puerto Rico.