American Palm Cixiid

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Scientific name

Myndus crudus Van Duzee

Family

Cixiidae (Suborder Auchenorrhyncha, Superfamily Fulgoroidea)

Synonyms

Myndus cocois (Fennah), Haplaxius crudus (Van Duzee)

Description

Myndus crudus is the only species within the family Cixiidae found on palm foliage in Florida and the Caribbean. Therefore, characteristics of the family will support the identification of this pest. Antennae consists of a barrel-like basal segment bearing a seta-like flagellum. Spines occur in clusters on the ends of the hind leg sements. There are three parallel ridges that divide the prothorax longitudinally.

Diagnostic features

Myndus crudus is the only species within the family Cixiidae found on palm foliage in Florida and the Caribbean. Therefore, characteristics of the family will support the identification of this pest. Antennae consists of a barrel-like basal segment bearing a seta-like flagellum. Spines occur in clusters on the ends of the hind leg sements. There are three parallel ridges that divide the prothorax longitudinally.

Distribution

Florida, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad, and mainland tropical America from Mexico through northern South America.

Hosts

Palms: Numerous species of palms, but high numbers have been found on Cocos nucifera and Washingtonia robusta. Myndus crudus has been collected from almost all of the species of palms in Florida that are susceptible to lethal yellowing.

Other: The species has been reported on some arborescent monocots.

May be confused with

Cedusa inflata and Omolicna cubana (Derbidae) can be confused with the American palm cixiid, Myndus crudus (Cixiidae). The presence of a short apical segment of the rostrum is diagnostic for the two derbid planthoppers.

Additional comments

The adult is the only known insect vector of lethal yellowing (LY), a highly destructive disease of palms in Florida and the Caribbean Basin. Nymphs of this species develop on roots of grasses. Symptoms of lethal yellowing (a phytoplasma) include drying up of developing inflorescences followed by progressive leaf discoloration, beginning with the older leaves and spreading rapidly to the younger ones. The leaves turn light-yellow and eventually orange-yellow.

Also called pallid cane leafhopper.

Species identification requires dissection and examinination of the male genitalia.

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