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Osbornellus auronitens (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae), an introduced species new for the Palaearctic region

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 March 2017

Valeria Trivellone*
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL), Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Zürchertrasse 111, Birmensdorf 8903, Switzerland Agroscope Swiss Federal Research Station, A Ramél 18, Cadenazzo 6594, Switzerland
Milana Mitrović
Department of Plant Pests, Institute for Plant Protection and Environment, Banatska 33, Zemun 11080, Serbia
Christopher H. Dietrich
Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 61820, United States of America
Ivo Toševski
Department of Plant Pests, Institute for Plant Protection and Environment, Banatska 33, Zemun 11080, Serbia CABI, 1 Rue des Grillons, Delémont 2800, Switzerland
1Corresponding author (e-mail:


The introduction of invasive species may result in important ecological, environmental, and economic impacts. Extensive study of Auchenorrhyncha (Hemiptera) fauna in a wine-growing region in southern Switzerland revealed, for the first time, presence of the Nearctic leafhopper Osbornellus auronitens (Provancher) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in the vicinity of Stabio (Canton of Ticino). The species identity of the collected specimens was confirmed using morphological and molecular characters. All specimens of O. auronitens were collected in a forest of Castanea sativa Miller (Fagaceae), Corylus avellana Linnaeus (Betulaceae), and Alnus glutinosa (Linnaeus) Gaertner (Betulaceae) intermixed with Cornus sanguinea Linnaeus (Cornaceae), Salix Linnaeus (Salicaceae), and Rubus Linnaeus (Rosaceae). In its native range this leafhopper is polyphagous and a relatively common visitor in vineyards. Based on analysis of the barcoding region of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene of the collected O. auronitens, 100% identity with specimens of the same species originating from Canada was determined. Osbornellus auronitens is morphologically similar to Scaphoideus titanus Ball (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), another introduced Nearctic leafhopper, which was involved in severe outbreaks of disease caused by the Grapevine flavescence dorée phytoplasma (Bacteria: Acholeplasmataceae) in European viticultural regions since the 1960s. In this paper, we report the morphological features to distinguish O. auronitens from S. titanus, and discuss the possible implications of its expected spread across the Old World.

Systematics & Morphology
© Entomological Society of Canada 2017 

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Subject editor: Rob Johns


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Osbornellus auronitens (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae), an introduced species new for the Palaearctic region
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Osbornellus auronitens (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae), an introduced species new for the Palaearctic region
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