Survey of Sharpshooters (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) Associated with Xylella fastidiosa Transmission in Citrus Groves of the North Coast of Bahia State
The causal agent of citrus variegated clorosis, Xylella fastidiosa, is transmitted by leafhoppers of the subfamily Cicadellinae, whose species vary regionally. The goal of this study was to identify potential vectors of this pathogen in citrus groves of Bahia North Coast, Brazil. The survey was done from March/2002 to February/2003 in three seven-to nine-year-old sweet orange (Citrus sinensis, Pera variety) groves located in Rio Real, BA. Fifteen yellow sticky cards (8.5x11.5 cm) were installed 40 m apart in each grove, hanged at 1.5 m high on the upper north side of citrus canopies, and replaced fortnightly. A sweep net was periodically used to sample leafhoppers on herbaceous weeds inside the groves, by selecting five points at random and performing 30 sweeps in each point. A total of 1,360 specimens of 49 Auchenorrhyncha species were collected in this study, mostly in the family Cicadellidae (90.2%). The subfamily Cicadellinae, which includes the sharpshooter vectors of X. fastidiosa, showed the largest number of species (14) and specimens (84.8%). Acrogonia flagellata Young, A. citrina Marucci & Cavichioli, Homalodisca spottii Takiya, Cavichioli & McKamey and an unidentified Cicadellini (species 1) were the dominant species trapped on citrus canopies, while Hortensia similis (Walker) and Erythrogonia dubia (Medler) were dominant in the weedy vegetation. Among the Cicadellinae species already known as vectors of X. fastidiosa in citrus, only A. citrina, Bucephalogonia xanthophis (Berg) e Ferrariana trivittata (Signoret) were found. The two latter species were accidentally trapped by sweep net in the weedy vegetation.