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PPDC Entomology lab

Plant Pest Diagnostics Center - Entomology Laboratory

Research Programs - Insecta: Hemiptera

CDFA Hemipterists

Auchenorrhyncha


Membracoidea:
Cicadellidae

Scientist:
Dr. Alessandra Rung

 

Current projects

  • Improved diagnostics of glassywing sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis).

Sternorrhyncha

Being a major pest group, the sternorrhynchus Hemiptera receive considerable attention at CDFA, with two scientists making identifications, Dr. John Sorensen (Aphidoidea) and Dr. Gillian Watson (all others). Among larger general research into this group, Dr. Gillian Watson is working in collaboration with Drs. Michael Wilson & Victor Eastop on the sternorrhynchan fauna of Fiji.


Aleyrodoidea:
Aleyrodidae

Scientist:
Dr. Gillian Watson

Bemisia tabaci-group, pupa on leaf

The Aleyrodidae are a secondary field of interest for Dr Gillian Watson, particularly their identification and economic importance, and documentation of changing species distributions. In the event of detection of a new introduction, it is important to work out the affinities and likely area of origin of the introduced whitefly so that any search for natural enemies for biological control purposes can be targeted to the appropriate part of the world. Dr. Watson has collaborative links with several researchers on Aleyrodidae, helping to provide or obtain specimens and identifications for research projects. A current project is as follows:

  • Collaboration with Drs. Judy Brown (University of Arizona, Tucson) & George Roderick (University of California, Berkeley) & Mr Raymond J. Gill (CDFA Emeritus):
    • Taxonomy of the genus Bemisia (project funded by USDA)

Aphidoidea:
Aphididae

Scientist:
Dr. Gillian Watson

Cinara cedri

Dr Gillian Watson studied British species of Macrosiphum for her Ph.D. research, and has since carried out taxonomic research on Pineus boerneri (Adelgidae) and Cinara cupressivora (Aphididae) as scientific underpinning for biological control projects. Among her current projects is the following:

  • Collaboration with Dr Matthew J.W. Cock (CABI Bioscience):
    • Ceratopemphigus zehntneri (Pemphiginae) galling Ligustrum sp. in Sri Lanka

Coccoidea

Scientist:
Dr. Gillian Watson

scale

The Coccoidea are Dr Gillian Watson’s main field of interest since her collaboration on the three volumes of The Scale Insects of the Tropical South Pacific Region, and she continues to be particularly interested in the Coccoidea found in that part of the world.  She is interested in coccoid identification and economic importance, and documentation of changing species distributions.  In the event of detection of a new introduction, it is important to work out the affinities and likely area of origin of the introduced pest so that any search for natural enemies for biological control purposes can be targeted to the appropriate part of the world.  Dr Watson has collaborative links with a number of researchers on Coccoidea, identifying research material and halping to obtain material for multi-disciplinary research projects. Among her projects on coccoids in general are:

  • Improved diagnostics of the Coccoidea, including production of training manuals and regional species lists and keys
  • Collaboration with Dr Aubrey Moore (University of Guam)
    • Scale insects newly introduced to Micronesia


Coccoidea:
Diaspididae

Scientist:
Dr. Gillian Watson

Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli

Current projects

  • Collaboration with Drs. Richard Stouthamer & Joseph Morse (University of California, Riverside):
    • Characterization of armored scale insects on avocadoes grown in Mexico
  • Collaboration with Dr Samir El-Serwy (Cairo University, Egypt):
    • Acanthococcus sacchari on sugarcane in Egypt
  • Collaboration with Dr Ir. Rostaman (Kupang Agricultural Polytechnic, Indonesia):
    • Diaspididae found on sandalwood trees in Timor

Coccoidea:
Pseudococcidae

Scientist:
Dr. Alessandra Rung

Pseudococcus elisae

Current projects

  • Collaboration with Dr. Dug Miller (USDA-ARS-SEL):
    • Molecular characterization of Planococcus minor
    • Molecular characterization of Phaenacoccus solani-solenopsis species complex