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Zyginidia pullula: distribuzione nel territorio e ciclo biologico

Zyginidia pullula: distribuzione nel territorio e ciclo biologico

Redia 68: 135-150

The leafhopper, Zyginidia pullula (Homoptera Auchenorrhyncha) was investigated from the chorological, ecological, morphological and ethological points of view, with the aim to clarify its land distribution and life history. It revealed to be widely spread in the palaearctic region but rather localized in Italy, where it was found very common over the Po valley, the Venetian plain and related hills without competitors within the Zyginidia, which are represented by ten species in Italy. Various wild and cultivated graminaceous species, among which Agropyron repens, Cynodon dactylon, Echinochloa crus-galli, Hordeum vulgare, Sorghum halepense, S. vulgare, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays, were identified as its host plants. Basic morphological characters of adult, egg, neanid and nymph stages of the leafhopper were described. Z. pullula imaginal activity was characterized by oligophagy and alternancy of host plants, within the wild and cultivated graminaceous species, and migrations from uncultivated lands to cereal fields and vice versa. Overwintering adults were observed both on grasses and cereals, wheat and barley in particular. Trophic activity of adults and nymphs was evidenced by symptomatic whitish streaks or spots, that were remarkable above all in the proximal leaves of maize. About the life history, four generations were detected: one on winter cereals and three on maize. Z. pullula could be a worrying species owing to its high prolificity, intense plant sucking activity and migratorial ability. But actually it must be considered not noxious to maize and other cereal crops thanks to the intervention of very efficient natural enemies.

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