Notes on the Distribution, Behavior and Life History of Attenuipyga Vanduzeei (Osborn & Ball)(Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in Wisconsin

By Sauer, Scott B.; Maurer, Eric D. | The American Midland Naturalist, October 2001 | Go to article overview

Notes on the Distribution, Behavior and Life History of Attenuipyga Vanduzeei (Osborn & Ball)(Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in Wisconsin


Sauer, Scott B., Maurer, Eric D., The American Midland Naturalist


ABSTRACT.-Before 1992 the leafhopper Attenuipyga vanduzeei (Osborn & Ball) had seldom been collected and little was known about its life history. The Prairie Invertebrate Biodiversity Inventory, a multi-partner project focused on the invertebrate fauna of midwestern prairies, has located four sites for the species in Wisconsin and added to the number of curated specimens. Field collection data and laboratory observations of living specimens contribute new information regarding A. vanduzeei's possible host plants) and provide the first details of life history and behavior. It is possible that A. vanduzeei alternates hosts as an adult. Laboratory specimens demonstrated a preference for prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) as a resting host, yet chose sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) for oviposition. Plant and habitat associations demonstrate that this is a rare prairie-dependent species.

The Prairie Invertebrate Biodiversity Inventory (the Inventory) is a generalized inventory of invertebrates using native grasslands. Begun in 1994, Wisconsin field collections for the Inventory have been conducted primarily by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) staff personnel. Because leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadelidae) demonstrate great diversity and host specificity on prairies, especially on grasses (Whitcomb et aL, 1988; Hamilton, 1995), much of the Inventory collection effort has focused on prevalent prairie grass species. Historically, the leafhopper Attenuipyga vanduzeei (Osborn and Ball, 1898) was known from only six specimens collected at four sites (Oman, 1985): Little Rock, in extreme northwest Iowa, in 1897, Onaga, Kansas (northeast of Manhattan), undated, but likely pre-1905 (Hamilton, pers. comm.), Manhattan, Kansas in 1933 and Oaklawn, Illinois (now south suburban Chicago) in 1945. With so few collections and specimens, little was known of the habits of A. vanduzeei, but based on previous records, Oman (1985) speculated that the host plant for the species was the grass Nluhlenbergia cuspidata. Dr. K. G. A. Hamilton of Agriculture Canada collected A. vanduzeei from Konza Prairie (south of Manhattan, Kansas) in 1993 (Hamilton, 1995), which may have been a resampling from the original Manhattan macrosite (Hamilton, pers. comm.). Hamilton took five males from prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), and purposely swept M. cuspidata, with negative results, to test Oman's speculation (Hamilton, pers. comm.).

In 1994 Harvey Ballard', under contract with the WDNR, first collected Attenuipyga vanduzeei in Wisconsin at Nelson Dewey State Park in Grant County. Researchers with the Inventory have subsequently collected A. vanduzeei three additional times at this site, and from three other locations in Wisconsin (Fig. 1); near Muscoda in Grant County, near Arena in Iowa County and near Durand in Pepin County. Collections have included nymphs and adults, and span the period of June through August (Table 1). Collection data indicate the adult stage begins in late June and early July, and continues into August. All but two collections have come from sweep netting. One yellow pan trap yielded three nymphs, and vacuuming collected an adult. Collections represent 12 separate collection events, and have yielded 41 specimens. Mr. Ballard's collections remain with him, and specimens from the 21 August 1995 collection are located at Agriculture Canada2. …

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