Information

Agricultural entomology: Green citrus buzzers

Agricultural entomology: Green citrus buzzers

Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Rincoti
Suborder: Homoptera
Family: Cycadellidae
Genus: Empoasca
Species: E. decens - E. decipiens

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

Host plants: Citrus, Almond, Peach, Vine; Herbaceous (Potato, Chard).

Identification and damage

These two species are very similar, so much so that they are difficult to distinguish. Adults (about 3-3.5 mm long) have a yellowish-green livery. The damage occurs on the fruit and is caused by trophic stings; on the fruits of the fruit there are yellow or rust spots, as a consequence of the escape of essential oils. These alterations, which are more frequent on Mandarin, Clementine, Orange and Lemon, are called yellow spotting, or fetola; the symptoms greatly depreciate the fruit.

Biological cycle

The cicadas spend the winter as adults, in shelters among the vegetation.
In spring they attack various herbaceous plants, such as Potato, Beetroot, Cotton and some Leguminous plants.
At the end of the summer period, in August-September, they are brought to the citrus fruits where they prick the fruits. Cicadas make several generations a year; the development from egg to adult, during the summer period, is completed in about a month.

Green Cicalina citrus fruit adult (photo www.agrimag.com)

Fight

The fight against citrus buzzers is essentially chemical; however agronomic practices are also associated.
The latter essentially consist in the elimination, from the citrus groves and their surroundings, of the herbaceous plants that host the cicadas in spring-summer.

Chemical fight
The chemical fight is carried out only in case of need or with a threshold of about 3% of affected fruits; it consists in the execution, at the moment of the migration of the phytophages on the citrus fruits; of a hair spray treatment with phosphorganics. In certain situations, a second treatment may be necessary. The chitin inhibitor is also active. In nature, the buzzers are controlled by some hymenoptera.


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