oa African Entomology - Phloem-feeding by the leafhopper Acia lineatifrons (Naude) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) on grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) and wild blackberry, Rubus chrysocarpus (Smith)



The food source of Acia lineatifrons (Naude) was studied on grapevines and wild blackberry. The reaction of honeydew, collected from leafhoppers while feeding, with ninhydrin and bromocresol green indicated that the insects tap phloem on both host plants and this was confirmed by microscope-slide sections of leafhoppers that were fixed while feeding. The microscopic study also showed that stylet penetration is intracellular. Since A. lineatifrons feeds on phloem, it could act as a vector of phloem-restricted grapevine disease organisms such as leafroll virus.


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