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Two Undescribed Water-Striders from Grenada (Hemiptera)

Florida Entomologist
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Scientific Notes 317 INFLUENCE OF FREEZING TEMPERATURES ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF UMBONIA CRASSICORNIS (HEMIPTERA: MEMBRACIDAE) IN FLORIDA RobeRt V. Dowell1 anD thomas K. wooD2 11681 Pebblewood Drive, Sacramento, California 95833, USA 2Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA 19716 Deceased Corresponding author; E-mail: [email protected] The tolerance of cold, often sub-freezing weather is an important factor in determining the range of insects (Le Patourel 1993; Regniere & Bentz 2007; Chong et al. 2008; Scheffrahn 2013). This is espe- cially true of tropical insects that have or may in- vade sub-tropical or temperate regions like Florida, USA (Cherry 1979a,b; Le Patourel 1993; Simmons & Elsey 1995; Chong et al. 2008; Scheffrahn 2013). The thornbug, Umbonia crassicornis (Amyot & Serville) (Hemiptera: Membracidae), is a tropical treehopper found in southern Florida and from southern Texas to South America. In Florida the treehopper is found from the Florida Keys north to Winter Haven in central Florida, it is a minor pest of its leguminous host plants (Fabales: Fa- baceae) including, Albizia, and Calliandra spp. which are found throughout southern Florida and farther north (Mead & Fasulo 2004; USDA 2013) than the treehopper. We investigated the ability of U. crassicornis adults to survive freez- ing temperatures and use these data to determine whether the treehopper’s cold tolerance can ex- plain its distribution in Florida. Adults were used in this study because pre- liminary data indicated that they were the more cold tolerant stage. Umbonia crassicornis is a pre- social insect whose females guard their egg mass and offspring until they become adults. Loss of the parental female during the egg stage and first 3 nymphal instars results in the death of all off- spring (Wood 1976, 1977). We tested the effects of single and multiple ex- posures to freezing and sub-freezing temperatures on the survival of

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