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Vitis vinifera (Vitales: Vitaceae) as a Reproductive Host of Spissistilus festinus (Hemiptera: Membracidae).


Feeding by the three-cornered alfalfa hopper, Spissistilus festinus (Say) (Hemiptera: Membracidae) results in girdling of grapevine petioles and shoots. Its significance as an economic pest of grape has increased since it was shown to transmit Grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) in a greenhouse study. However, the status of grapevines as a reproductive host for S. festinus remained undetermined. Adult S. festinus were caged onto three regions of the grapevines: apical shoot, green shoot, and dormant cane. Their ability to reproduce was determined by weekly destructive sampling for 7 wk. Successful oviposition and nymphal emergence were observed on apical and green shoots, but not on dormant canes. However, insect development beyond the second nymphal instar did not occur. Knowledge of S. festinus reproduction on grapevines will be an important consideration in designing management guidelines to minimize the spread of GRBV in vineyards.

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