Characterization of EPG waveforms for the tea green leafhopper, Empoasca vitis Gothe (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), on tea plants and their correlation with stylet activities

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The stylet probing activities of the tea green leafhopper Empoasca vitis Gothe (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) were studied using the DC electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique. Seven different EPG waveforms (i.e., Np, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5 and E6) were distinguished and characterized on susceptible tea leaves. In addition, four of them (i.e., Np, E1, E2, E3), together accounting for 97.08% of the total recording time, were behaviorally correlated with probing and non-probing activities using artificial diet observation with high-magnification video recording. At the start of stylet probing, waveform El always occurred at a variable voltage. E1, with all three of its waveform sub-types (E1-A to E1-C), was correlated with production of the salivary sheath trunk, stylet laceration, and channel cutting in viscous artificial diet. Afterwards, two types of high-amplitude waveforms, E2 and E3, followed. E2 had a highly regular, quasi-square wave, repetitive appearance, and lasted the longest duration of all E. vitis probing waveforms. E3 usually appeared after E2, and also exhibited a quasi-square wave feature similar to E2, but had much higher amplitude. Both waveforms E2 and E3 were correlated with active ingestion in liquid artificial diet. In addition, secretion of watery, enzymatic saliva was likely during E2. The active stylet movements and channel-cutting observed during the probing process indicate that E. vitis is a cell rupture feeder, not a salivary sheath feeder, as aphids and other leafhoppers. Thus, hopperburn damage to the tea plant is probably due to the cell rupture feeding strategy, similar to other hopperburning Empoasca species. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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