Population dynamics of empoasca fabae (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in central Iowa alfalfa fields

L. A.Weiser Erlandson, J. J. Obrycki, Jessica Dohmen-Vereijssen

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Adults and nymphs of Empoasca fabae Harris (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) and adults of predatory species in the families Coccinellidae, Anthocoridae, Nabidae, Chrysopidae, and Hemerobiidae were sampled in Iowa alfalfa fields from June to September in 1999 and 2000. The relationship between each predatory taxa and E. fabae was examined using regression analysis. In 2000, all predators were found to be positively correlated with the presence of E. fabae during all periods sampled and most likely contributed to mortality. Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthoridae) was the most numerous insect predatory species; population numbers ranged from 0 to 1 and 0.1 to 3.7 adults per 0.25 m2 in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Partial life tables were constructed for E. fabae nymphs for two alfalfa-growing periods. Nymphs were grouped into three age intervals: first and second, third and fourth, and fifth instars. For the first alfalfa growing period examined, E. fabae nymphal mortality was 70% in 1999 and 49% in 2000. During the last growing period of each season (August-September), total nymphal mortality was relatively low (<25%). Adult E. fabae density ranged from 5.4 to 25.6 and 1.4-9.2 per 0.25 m2 in 1999 and 2000, respectively. E. fabae population peaks were similar for each age interval in all growing periods. This study provides further information on the population dynamics of E. fabae and its relationship with select predatory species in Iowa alfalfa fields.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2015.


  • Medicago sativa
  • Population dynamics
  • Potato leafhopper
  • Predator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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