Over the course of the three-year project, Chandler and his research team found that New Hampshire seems to be an exceptional area regarding the biodiversity of leafhoppers.
Researchers identified upwards of 600 species of leafhoppers in just the New Hampshire Seacoast and Merrimack and Hillsborough counties, and they believe the state has many more species of leafhoppers. To put this into context, based only on the current sampling New Hampshire has more than half of the amount of Canada's 1,100 species of leafhoppers but is less than 1 percent the size of Canada in land.
Of those roughly 600 species of leafhoppers, researchers found that only about 40 were economically significant because they either carried diseases or fed heavily on plants. Leafhoppers are well-known for the problem heavy feeding creates for many crops, ornamental shrubs and trees, and flowers, with two species once engendering common names such as the inimical leafhopper and the destructive leafhopper.
Of those 40, six were known to carry X-disease but only three were commonly found in the state Paraphlepsius irroratus, Scaphytopius acutus, and Colladonus citellarius. The speckled brown Paraphlepsius irroratus is between 5.5 and 6.5 mm long and has a bluntly angled face. Scaphytopius acutus is about 4.5 mm long with an elongate pointed head and yellow below its face. Colladonus clitellarius is between 5 and 5.5 mm long with a rounded face and conspicuous yellow spot on its back. They all feed on a wide variety of plants, including one of their favorites, the chokecherry.
And it is from the chokecherry where leafhoppers usually pick up X-disease, which they then spread to other fruit crops. According to Chandle
|Contact: Lori Wright|
University of New Hampshire