Establishment of the sea grape flatid, Petrusa epilepsies (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Flatidae), in Florida

  • Brian Bahder Department of Entomology and Nematology, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, Florida 33314-7719, USA;
  • Susan Halbert Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, 1911 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32608-7100, USA;
  • De-Fen Mou Department of Entomology and Nematology, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, Florida 33314-7719, USA;
  • Ericka E Helmick Department of Entomology and Nematology, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, Florida 33314-7719, USA;
  • Noemi Soto Department of Entomology and Nematology, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, Florida 33314-7719, USA;
  • Miriel Otero Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University, 1911 West Lincoln Street, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA;
  • Alejandro E Segarra Departmento de Ciencias Agroambientales, University of Puerto Rico, Edificio Anexo Piñero AP-301, CALL Box 9000, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 00681-9000, USA;
Keywords: invasive, planthopper, ornamental, pest

Abstract

The sea grape flatid, Petrusa epilepsis (Kirkaldy) (Hemiptera: Flatidae) is a polyphagous, widespread planthopper in the Caribbean that infests common ornamental plants, as well as some of agricultural importance. In 2015, P. epilepsis was found in Florida for the first time, and was confirmed to be established in 2017 by the detection of eggs and nymphs on various ornamental plants located at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie, Florida, USA. In this study, 9 new host plants are reported with 1 representing a new host family (Araliaceae). Additionally, the presence of adults, eggs, and nymphs of various sizes suggests that there are overlapping generations. Molecular analysis reveals no genetic variation of the COI gene. This study records establishment of another invasive species that has the potential to become a pest due to the large number of ornamental plants that are grown in South Florida that could serve as hosts of P. epilepsis elsewhere in Florida and the Caribbean.

 

Resumen

El flátido de la uva del mar, Petrusa epilepsis (Kirkaldy) (Hemiptera: Flatidae) es un saltador de plantas polífago, con una amplia distribución en el Caribe que infesta plantas ornamentales comunes, así como algunas de importancia agrícola. En el 2015, P. epilepsis se encontró por primera vez en Florida y se confirmó que se estableció en el 2017 mediante la detección de huevos y ninfas en varias plantas ornamentals ubicadas en el Centro de Investigación y Educación de Fort Lauderdale de la Universidad de Florida en Davie, Florida. En este estudio, se informaron nueve nuevas plantas hospederas con una que representa una nueva familia de hospedadores (Araliaceae). Además, la presencia de adultos, huevos y ninfas de diversos tamaños sugiere que hay generaciones superpuestas. El análisis molecular no revela variación genética del gen COI. Este estudio registra el establecimiento de otra especie invasora que tiene el potencial de convertirse en una plaga debido a la gran cantidad de plantas ornamentales que se cultivan en el sur de la Florida que podrían servir como hospederos de P. epilepsis en otras partes de la Florida y el Caribe.

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Published
2019-02-04
Section
Research Papers