University of California

A study of the leafhopper genus Circulifer Zakhvatkin (Homoptera, Cicadellidae)


David A. Young
Norman W. Frazier

Authors Affiliations

David A. Young, Jr. was Entomological Research Branch, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C; Norman W. Frazier was Assistant Entomologist in the California Agricultural Experiment Station, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 23(2):25-52. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v23n02p025. May 1954.

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The beet leafhopper Circulifer ienellus (Baker) is probably the most important species of Cicadellidae in North America. It is the only known vector of the curly top virus disease, which causes great losses to sugar beet, tomato, melon, spinach, bean, flax, and other crops in the western states. In the last half century huge sums of private and public money have been expended on research and control measures for curly top and the beet leafhopper. As a result, the literature on this subject is voluminous.

Circulifer tenellus is the only species of the genus known to occur in the Western Hemisphere. It was described as Thamnotettix ienella Baker (1896) and later placed in the genus Eutetiix by (Forbes and Hart (1900)). Between 1900 and 1948 the name Eutettix tenellus was in common usage in literature.

(Oman (1936)) pointed out the similarity of the published illustration of the male genital characters of Thamnotettix indivisus Haupt (1927), from Palestine, to those of E. tenellus and placed indivisus Haupt in synonymy with tenellus. At the same time he expressed the hope that this Mediterranean record of tenellus would be confirmed by further extensive collecting. In a later publication (Oman (1948)) determined that tenellus should be associated with a number of Mediterranean species included in the genus Circulifer(Zakhvatkin (1935)), and further confirmed its presence in the Mediterranean area after studying a syntype (cotype) of ignavus Matsumura collected in Sicily. He was of the opinion that other records of forms from the Old World might also apply to tenellus.

This evidence presented by Oman led naturally to the speculation that

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Young D, Frazier N. 1954. A study of the leafhopper genus Circulifer Zakhvatkin (Homoptera, Cicadellidae). Hilgardia 23(2):25-52. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v23n02p025
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