Research Reports: Population Levels of Leptodictya Tabida (Hemiptera: Tingidae) in Florida Sugarcane

  • David G. Hall
  • Omelio Sosa Jr.


Three sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) fields in southern Florida were sampled to assess population densities of the sugarcane lace bug (Leptodictya tabida (Herrich-Schaeffer) on leaves during 1990 - 1992. The study began several months after the bug was first discovered in Florida. A mean of 6.3 (SEM=0.51) bugs (all life stages) per leaf was observed over the entire study. Average densities per field per sample date ranged up to 74 bugs (all stages) per leaf. The bug was present from late spring through winter but exhibited a propensity for 2 annual peaks in density, one during late spring/early summer before summer rains and one during the fall after summer rains. Bug populations were very low from late March to May. A general decline in densities of the bug occurred during the study. No parasites, predators or pathogens of the bug were observed. In a laboratory trial, adults and nymphs survived 3-h exposures to 0@* and -5@*C, indicating short periods of cold weather may have little impact on population levels of the bug. Among 14 sugarcane varieties, `CP73-1547' was relatively resistant to the bug while `CP81-1254' was relatively susceptible based on bug densities per leaf.
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