UK insect vectors of Xylella

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Xylella lives in the xylem of plants.

Insects that feed from the xylem can acquire Xylella and transmit the bacterium to other plants. These insects are known as vectors.

BRIGIT will investigate this relationship, the species involved and the wider movement of insects within the UK and across countries and continents.

It is estimated that there are around 20 xylem-feeding insect species that could vector Xylella in the UK (listed below).

The meadow froghopper, Philaenus spumarius, has been associated with transmission of Xylella in olive in Europe. Other species are associated with transmission in the Americas, for example the leafhoppers Oncometopia fascialis and Homalodisca vitripennis are important vectors of Xylella in citrus and grapevine, respectively, and therefore other insect vectors could be important if the bacterium became established in new areas.

BRIGIT will increase our understanding of the geographical distribution and population structures of these potential vectors.

Potential Xylella vectors, their host plants and UK distribution

For more information about the insect vectors, have a look at the BRIGIT databases and resources and see the downloadable information sheets for each species.

Froghoppers/spittlebugs

  • Aphrophora alni
    • Host plant – Trees, esp. Alnus & Salix spp.
    • UK distribution – Ubiquitous
  • Aphrophora major
    • Host plant – Trees, esp. Alnus & Salix spp.
    • UK distribution – Widespread, not as common as A. alni
  • Aphrophora pectoralis
    • Host plant – Trees, esp. Alnus & Salix spp.
    • UK distribution – Widespread, not as common as A. alni
  • Aphrophora salicina
    • Host plant – Trees, esp. Alnus & Salix spp.
    • UK distribution – Widespread, not as common as A. alni
  • Cercopis vulnerata
    • Host plant – Herbaceous dicots
    • UK distribution – Widespread England & Wales
  • Neophilaenus campestris
    • Host plant – Grasses
    • UK distribution – Widespread, not as common as N. lineatus
  • Neophilaenus exclamationis
    • Host plant – Grasses
    • UK distribution – Widespread, not as common as N. lineatus
  • Neophilaenus lineatus
    • Host plant – Grasses
    • UK distribution – Ubiquitous
  • Neophilaenus longiceps
    • Host plant – Grasses
    • UK distribution – Thames estuary
  • Philaenus spumarius
    • Host plant – Polyphagous
    • UK distribution – Ubiquitous

Leafhoppers