Dispersal of Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) in relation to phenology of matrimony vine (Lycium spp.; Solanaceae)


  • W. R. Cooper USDA-ARS-Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, 5230 Konnowac Pass Rd. Wapato, WA, 98951
  • D. R. Horton USDA-ARS-Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, 5230 Konnowac Pass Rd. Wapato, WA 98951
  • J. Thinakaran Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, School of Agriculture and Biosciences, Karunya Nagar, Coimbatore India 641114
  • A. Karasev University of Idaho, Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, 875 Perimeter Dr. MS 2339 Moscow, ID 83844


Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae) is a key pest of potato (Solanum tuberosum; Solanaceae) in western North America. Native species of Lycium (Solanales: Solanaceae) in the southwestern U.S. have been known since the early 1900s to support populations of B. cockerelli. These shrubs are adapted to survive arid habitats by entering a summer dormancy characterized by partial or complete defoliation. Summer leaf fall by native Lycium in the southwestern U.S. triggers the dispersal of B. cockerelli to new seasonally available hosts, including potato. Recently, B. cockerelli was found to occur on non-native species of Lycium (L. barbarum and L. chinense), collectively known as matrimony vine in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). Monitoring of matrimony vine in previous years suggested qualitatively that these non-native shrubs also entered a summer dormancy with effects on B. cockerelli populations. Our study had two principal objectives: 1) document when and under what conditions matrimony vine enters summer dormancy, and 2) determine whether summer leaf fall is associated with dispersal of B. cockerelli from these plants. In this report, we demonstrate that matrimony vine exhibits xerophytic phenological traits similar to the Lycium species native to the southwestern United States, and we provide evidence that psyllid dispersal from matrimony vine is associated with the onset of the host plant’s summer dormancy. These results may be beneficial for the development of predictive models to forecast B. cockerelli pressure in potato based upon populations occurring on matrimony vine in early spring.


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