Influence of Vineyard Vegetational Borders on Western Grape Leafhopper (Erythroneura elegantula Osborn), its Egg Parasitoids (Anagrus spp.) and Generalist Insect Predators

  • Michael J. Costello California Polytechnic State University
  • Ann Thrupp Fetzer VineyardsHopland, California
  • Glenn McGourty University of California, Cooperative Extension


Studies have shown that vegetational diversity in or around cropping systems can enhance naturalenemy abundance, although the impact on herbivores is less certain. We studied the influence of vineyardvegetational borders on density of the western grape leafhopper, Erythroneura elegantula, its majorparasitoids, Anagrus spp., and two generalist predators, Orius spp. and Leptothrips mali. Two studyvineyards had planted, perennial flowering hedgerows, one bordered a natural riparian zone, and onehad a sparse border of native trees. From April to September 2007, we counted leafhopper nymphs andadults of Anagrus spp., Orius spp. and L. mali within 10 m of the border, and at additional 20 m intervalsup to 90 m. At two sites with a diverse border, leafhopper density was stable nearest the border; at otherdistances leafhopper density decreased between the first and second generations. This effect was notseen at the sparse border site. Anagrus spp. density was enhanced at one site with a diverse border, butonly late season. There was no border effect on the generalist insect predators, by site or early vs. lateseason. Regression analysis showed a positive relationship between leafhopper and Anagrus spp. density,suggesting that the parasitoids were responding to higher leafhopper density. We conclude that, dependingon the nature of the border vegetation, there can be an effect on leafhopper nymphal density, but in thisstudy there is no evidence that it was due to natural enemies.

Author Biographies

Michael J. Costello, California Polytechnic State University
Horticulture and Crop Science Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Ann Thrupp, Fetzer VineyardsHopland, California
Fetzer Vineyards, Hopland, CA
Glenn McGourty, University of California, Cooperative Extension
University of California, Cooperative Extension, Ukiah, CA


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