Potential insect vectors for transmission of oak leaf scorch caused by Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al., in pin and red oaks in New Jersey were surveyed by placing yellow sticky card traps in tree canopies and fogging with Pyrethrin insecticide during 2002–2006. Thirty-seven Cicadomorpha species were collected from 20 genera in Membracidae, Cicadellidae, Aphrophoridae, and Clastopteridae. Of the 12,880 potential vectors collected, 91.4% were Membracidae, 6.9% were Cicadellidae, and 1.7% were Aphrophoridae and Clastopteridae. Fogging collected more insect species and individuals than sticky card collections. Sticky card sampling, done more frequently and at a larger number of locations provided similar community structure information as fogging. Sticky card collections of the dominant treehopper species, Ophiderma definita Woodruff were male biased when females were gravid. O. definita populations peaked in early June, comprised 68.2% of the total collection, and were more abundant in pin oaks than red oaks. Graphocephala versuta (Say) peaked in mid-July, comprising 6.2% of the total collection. Higher Cicadomorpha populations were observed in asymptomatic oak canopies than in neighboring X. fastidiosa infected oaks. Individual insect specimens collected from oaks were subjected to a X. fastidiosa DNA assay by polymerase chain reaction amplification. The average X. fastidiosa positive rate was 13.89% for all specimens tested. Eleven treehopper species, six leafhopper species, and four spittlebug species tested DNA positive for X. fastidiosa.
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Vol. 40 • No. 5