The tomato—potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae) is a pest of many solanaceous plants, including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). In tomato, feeding by nymphs is associated with “psyllid yellows.” B. cockerelli also vectors “Candidatus Liberibacter psyllaurous,” an infectious bacterium that causes “vein greening” disease. Decisions about management action are much more effective when guided by robust sampling. However, there are few previous studies of potato psyllid spatial distribution in tomato fields, and no published sequential sampling plans for the pest in tomato. We studied B. cockerelli in various tomato fields in California and used these data to generate a sequential sampling plan. We found that juvenile B. cockerelli in tomato fields exhibit an edge effect, an aggregated distribution, and individuals are primarily located on the bottom of leaves. Psyllids were concentrated in the upper segments of plants, but this changed over time. Finally, we present three binominal sequential sampling plans for managing tomato psyllids in tomato fields. These plans differed from both those for bell pepper (Capsicum annum L.) and potato, indicating that B. cockerelli needs to be sampled using crop-specific sampling plans.
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Vol. 107 • No. 2