The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), is a major pest of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) in Texas and California. It is a known vector of Pierce's disease and is considered the most significant insect pest threatening the grape industry in the United States. We evaluated the preference of four host plants for feeding and oviposition by H. vitripennis adult females. We also measured the suitability of nine host plants for the growth and development of eggs and nymphs under greenhouse and laboratory conditions, respectively. Embryonic survival exceeded 85% on all tested host plants, with the exception of sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. More than 80% of the nymphs successfully reached adulthood on sweet potato, black-eyed pea [Vigna unguiculata unguiculata (L.) Walp.], and eggplant (Solanum melongena L). Developmental time of immature H. vitripennis nymphs was significantly affected by the plants on which they fed. The nymphs were more likely to die during the first instar on host plants such as Texas mountain laurel Evonymus japonica (Thunb.), or citrange Citrus sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata. Host suitability (nutrients) and stem and leaf texture, which varied among host plant species selected, seem to both play a significant role in nymphal development. Adult females were able to feed on woody plants, but a preference for black-eyed pea and sweet potato was observed. In captivity and given the plant choices offered, they deposited more egg masses on hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) and black-eyed pea.
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Vol. 102 • No. 4