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Keywords:

  • developmental rate;
  • grape leafhopper;
  • phenology;
  • rose leafhopper

Abstract

The grape leafhopper Empoasca vitis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) is regarded as a major insect pest in many European grapevine growing areas, with an increasing importance realized in recent years maybe as a result of climatic change. Both larvae and adults feed on the phloem vessels of the leaves, causing characteristic symptoms also referred to as hopperburn. Phenology of adult leafhoppers was monitored in one vineyard in three successive years and indicated that immigration of a few hibernated E. vitis individuals into vineyards might take place already quite early in the year depending on winter temperatures and starts to progress in substantial numbers right at grapevine bud burst. In addition, these monitoring studies have shown that there are several other leafhopper species occurring on grapevine plants besides E. vitis, such as the rose leafhopper Edwardsiana rosae (Homoptera: Cicadellidae). Here, we report on the development of larval instars of both leafhopper species, E. vitis and E. rosae on grapevine leaves under different temperature regimes in the laboratory. Shortest larval developmental time was observed at night temperatures of 13–15°C and day temperatures of 23–25°C, which was in agreement with predicted optimal temperatures for both species. At the temperature regime of 20°C night and 30°C day temperature, either no egg hatch was observed or early development of first-instar larvae was not successful for both species. These results suggest that warm (18°C) nights and moderately warm (28°C) days are representing the upper thermal threshold for development of both E. vitis and E. rosae embryonic stages on grapevine leaves, questioning current assumptions of an increasing importance of E. vitis as a grapevine pest under future climate change.