Source: UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS submitted to
TAXONOMIC REVISION OF THE LEAFHOPPER GENUS EMPOASCA [HEMIPTERA:CICADELLIDAE]
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
REVISED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0203830
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
ILLU-875-362
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2011
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2014
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Dietrich, C.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
URBANA,IL 61801
Performing Department
Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
Non Technical Summary
Empoasca is one of the most economically important genera of leafhoppers, with the potato leafhopper and other polyphagous species causing substantial damage to field and horticultural crops annually. The current lack of reliable identification aids and doubts about the identities of numerous previously described species hinders the ability of economic entomologists and quarnatine officers to manage these potential pests and prevent accidental introductions of invasive species. Because few specialists are available to do routine identifications (e.g., there are only three full-time leafhopper taxonomists in North America) user-friendly identification tools that can be used by non-specialists are urgently needed. Because they require only a computer with Internet connection and basic knowledge of insect morphology, online interactive keys provide the means for non-specialists to identify insects quickly and efficiently. A search of the CRIS system yielded references to 33 projects (not including Dietrich's previous Hatch project) focusing on various aspects of Empoasca leafhopper pest management. Among these, only Dietrich's lab at INHS is addressing taxonomic problems in this genus. Because Dietrich's lab has the necessary infrastructure and personnel, and the INHS collection contains most of the specimens necessary for the project, INHS is the ideal location for the proposed project.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
(N/A)
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
21131101130100%
Goals / Objectives
This change is being submitted to request that this currently-active project be extended for one year to 09/30/2015.1. Compile morphological data for the approximately 600 Empoasca species known worldwide. 2. Obtain digital photomicrographs to illustrate key morphological features, particularly male genitalia. 3. Link these data and images to an existing specimen-level database. 4. Create Internet-accessible interactive keys to species and an online virtual revision of Empoasca that includes synonymies, descriptions, illustrations, distribution maps, and host plant lists for each species.
Project Methods
Morphological data will be compiled through examination of Empoasca specimens in the Illinois Natural History Survey insect collection and borrowed from other institutions. Data for each species will be entered into an Access relational database as discrete character states. Digital photographs of diagnostic structures will be taken using a Microptics digital imaging system in Dietrich's lab at INHS, stored as jpeg files in an image archive and linked to the Access database for use in the online key and species descriptions. The key will be developed and made available over the Internet using the 3I software package. Species pages generated by 3I will be deposited in the Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) and used to produce one or more published monographs revising the species-level classification of the genus. Developing keys to the entire world fauna of leafhoppers, presently known to comprise more than 22,000 species, is well beyond the scope of the project. To serve the broadest possible community of potential users, priority will be placed on higher taxa (subfamily, tribe, genus) and groups containing important agricultural pests.

Progress 01/01/13 to 09/30/13

Outputs
Target Audience: Members of the target audience include professional insect taxonomists, Extension specialists, professional insect diagnosticians (e.g.,APHIS-PPQ), students, amateur naturalists, and insect ecologists. The keys and associated data are being organized to provide a comprehensive resource accessible to anyone with access to the internet. Efforts are being made to include large numbers of illustrations and to provide tools for customized data exploration (e.g., creation of custom keys for leafhoppers occurring in particular regions or host plants), which will make them easier to use for non-entomologists. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? A postdoctoral fellow partially funded by the project received training in the use of 3i cybertaxonomic software, which provides efficient tools for creating internet-accessible taxonomic databases, virtual revisions, and illustrated interactive keys. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? The primary mode of dissemination is via the project website at http://imperialis.inhs.illinois.edu/dmitriev/. This site provides access to the taxonomic database containing nomenclatural, morphological, and distributional data for leafhopper species and includes illustrated interactive keys to genera and species. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Goals for the next reporting period are to continue compiling and entering morphological data and images for the species not yet included in the online database.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? During the reporting period, 84 species were added to the online database and 47 new synonyms were recognized. Approximately 6,500 new images were added to the online keys and database to illustrate diagnostic morphological features of various leafhopper species. These images will make the keys easier to use. The project website received ~15,000 unique visitors.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Submitted Year Published: 2014 Citation: Liu, Y., M. J. Fletcher, C. H. Dietrich, and Y. Zhang. Review of Asymmetrasca (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae: Empoascini) with description of six new species and three new records from China. Zootaxa.


Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: In an effort to determine the proportion of tropical Empoasca species that remain undescribed, approximately 500 recently collected specimens of Empoascini from Thailand and Argentina were sorted from Malaise trap and vacuum samples, mounted and labeled for morphological study. Of the 62 morphologically distinct species identified from this material, only 14 appear to have been previously described and named, suggesting that a large proportion (perhaps 75% or more) of the Empoasca species in the New and Old World tropics remain undescribed. Morphology for these undescribed species have been scored and will be incorporated into the online interactive key to Empoasca species developed previously. The project databases and associated web applications were migrated to a new web server, which addresses some performance issues associated with use of the older machine. The new URL is: http://imperialis.inhs.illinois.edu/dmitriev/key.aspkey=Erythroneura &lng=En&i=1&keyN=14. PARTICIPANTS: Chris Dietrich, Principal Investigator, identified Empoasca specimens and supervised hourly employees sorting and preparing specimens. Jacqueline Potter, hourly technician, prepared specimens and entered data. Stephanie Tham, hourly technician, prepared specimens and entered data. TARGET AUDIENCES: Members of the target audience include professional insect taxonomists, Extension specialists, professional insect diagnosticians (e.g.,APHIS-PPQ), students, amateur naturalists, and insect ecologists. The keys and associated data are being organized to provide a comprehensive resource accessible to anyone with access to the internet. Efforts are being made to include large numbers of illustrations and to provide tools for customized data exploration (e.g., creation of custom keys for leafhoppers occurring in particular regions or host plants), which will make them easier to use for non-entomologists. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Visits to the project website increased to >17,800 annually over the reporting period. This suggests that the interactive keys are being accessed by a wide variety of potential users. The PI answered 12 queries during the reporting period regarding identification of leafhoppers from agroecologists and APHIS inspectors and made use of the online interactive keys to arrive at correct species determinations.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The online interactive key to species of Empoasca (http://ctap.inhs.uiuc.edu/dmitriev/key.aspkey=Erythroneura&lng=En&i =1&keyN=14) now includes 486 valid species and 138 morphological characters. New outputs during the reporting period include the addition of 8,571 images illustrating various morphological structures to the online database. These images have been linked to the appropriate species pages and may now be used to compare homologous structures among multiple species using the "compare" and "images" functions in the 3i interactive key web interface. Dietrich visited Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling, China, and presented a seminar to familiarize entomology students and faculty with the use of the online interactive keys and databases. PARTICIPANTS: Chris Dietrich, PI, Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), managed the overall project, supervised hourly personnel, and helped score and compile morphological data and images. Dmitry Dmitriev, collaborator, INHS, managed the project database and website. Jacqueline Potter, technician, INHS, entered specimen data and images into the project database. Sindhu Krishnankutty, graduate student, INHS, entered specimen data and images into the project database. Training in the use of the project database was provided to 26 entomology students at Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University, Yangling, China. A postdoctoral fellow and graduate student from NWAFU are now collaborating by providing data for Chinese Empoasca species. TARGET AUDIENCES: 1. Professional insect taxonomists 2. Extension specialists 3. Professional insect diagnosticians (e.g., APHIS-PPQ) 4. Students 5. Amateur naturalists 6. Insect ecologists. The keys and associated data are being organized to provide a comprehensive resource accessible to anyone with access to the internet. Efforts are being made to include large numbers of illustrations and to provide tools for customized data exploration (e.g., creation of custom keys for leafhoppers occurring in particular regions or host plants), which will make them easier to use for non-entomologists. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The project website received 15,810 unique visitors from 201 countries during the reporting period, an increase of 13% over the previous reporting period. This suggests that the interactive keys are being accessed by a wide variety of potential users. Resulting from a seminar and informal training workshop conducted by Dietrich during the reporting period, entomology students at Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling, China, are now compiling morphological data for Chinese Empoasca species to be included in the online database and keys.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/09 to 09/30/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: During the past year, two new interactive keys were posted to the project website. Data and images were added for 37 species of the leafhopper genus Nesocerus and 49 tribes of the leafhopper subfamily Deltocephalinae. The latter group includes most of the known leafhopper vectors of plant pathogens. Approximately 200 additional images were added to the key to species of the leafhopper genus, Empoasca, the largest leafhopper genus with >500 described species. Available keys now include 1,690 species and 376 higher taxa (genus and above), linked to 21,884 illustrative digital images. PARTICIPANTS: The following individuals received training in the use of the project database and gained experience in the development of online interactive keys: Sindhu Krishnankutty (PhD student at U of Illinois), Allison Keever (undergraduate student at U of Illinois), and Jacqueline Potter (adjunct faculty at Parkland Community College). Dmitry Dmitriev, postdoctoral fellow, managed the project database and contributed to the development of the interactive keys. TARGET AUDIENCES: Biologists conducting research on leafhoppers, insect identifiers (e.g., APHIS-PPQ personnel), and students and educators interested in learning and teaching about leafhoppers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The project website receives an average of >550 hits each week. The site received >14,000 visits over the past year and 471 other websites have linked to our site. The site has been used by USDA APHIS personnel and various state agriculture department insect identifiers to identify leafhoppers intercepted at ports of entry, potentially preventing delays in shipping and reducing the possibility of introductions of exotic agricultural pests.

Publications

  • Southern, P.S. and Dietrich, C.H. 2010. New species of Empoasca (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae) from Peru and Bolivia. Zootaxa 2524:1-23.
  • Dmitriev, D.A. and Dietrich, C.H. 2010. Review of the New World Erythroneurini (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae). IV. Genus Eratoneura. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin. 39(3): 79-258.
  • Krishnankutty, S.M. and Dietrich, C.H. 2011. Taxonomic revision and phylogeny of the endemic leafhopper genus Nesocerus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Idiocerinae) from Madagascar. Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society. (In Press).


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Work was completed on a comprehensive taxonomic revision of New World Erythroneurini and final versions of the interactive keys to all 520 valid species were posted on the Internet. Preliminary interactive keys to 98 genera of the microleafhopper tribe Empoascini and 408 species of the genus Empoasca were developed and posted on the Internet. These keys are based on data scored for 138 morphological characters for each included species. PARTICIPANTS: The following graduate students worked on the project: James N. Zahniser, Sindhu M. Krishnankutty, Therese A. Catanach. Collaborators: Dmitry A. Dmitriev (Illinois Natural History Survey) and P. Sterling Southern (North Carolina State University). TARGET AUDIENCES: The main targets audience for the interactive keys and associated taxonomic publications produced by this project are plant diagnosticians and other professional insect identifiers who encounter unknown leafhoppers during their work. Another audience includes insect taxonomists, who may wish to use the software developed during this project to create their own relational taxonomic databases and interactive keys. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
The keys developed so far are the most comprehensive identification keys available for the two most diverse and agriculturally important groups of microleafhoppers. The keys are not only enabling researchers to identify specimens of these groups from around the world with unprecedented accuracy, but are also facilitating the discovery of new species. Publications completed during the reporting period include descriptions of four new species from the United States. Comparative study revealed that 252 previously recognized North American species are synonyms of other species. This not only eliminates previous confusion over the identities of these species, but also substantially reduces the number of species of microleafhoppers recognized as valid, simplifying identification of species in this group.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Fifteen interactive identification keys comprising approximately 1,000 species and higher taxa of leafhoppers have been developed and are now available at http://ctap.inhs.uiuc.edu/dmitriev/3i_keys.asp. The specimen database comprises > 50,000 locality records and ca. 3,000 host plant records. Additionally, during the reporting period, one monograph treating 78 species was published and another treating 135 species was submitted for publication and is now in press. PARTICIPANTS: The following graduate students worked on the project and received training in the use of relational databases and the development of interactive identification keys: James N. Zahniser, Sindhu M. Krishnankutty. Collaborators: Dmitry A. Dmitriev (Illinois Natural History Survey, P. Sterling Southern (North Carolina State University). TARGET AUDIENCES: The main target audience for the interactive keys and associated taxonomic publications produced by the project is plant diagnosticians and other professional insect identifiers who encounter unknown leafhoppers during their work. Another audience includes insect taxonomists, who may wish to use the software developed during this project to create their own relational taxonomic databases and interactive keys. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The development of interactive identification keys for genera and species of the economically important microleafhopper tribes Erythroneurini and Empoascini and to tribes of the leafhopper subfamily Deltocephalinae, which includes numerous invasive species and vectors of plant pathogens, have not only provided much needed tools for plant diagnosticians, but also have facilitated the discovery of numerous new leafhopper species. Publications completed during the reporting period have included descriptions of 46 leafhopper species new to science and many more new species have been discovered and now await formal description.

Publications

  • Dietrich, C.H. and Dmitriev, D.A. 2008. Review of the species of New World Erythroneurini (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae) II. Genus Zyginama. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 38(3): 129-176.
  • Dmitriev, D.A. and Dietrich, C.H. 2008. Review of the species of New World Erythroneurini (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae) III. Genus Erythridula. (In Press).


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The main focus of this project continues to be the development of Internet-accessible interactive keys to leafhoppers. All keys are available through the following web portal: http://ctap.inhs.uiuc.edu/dmitriev/3I keys.asp. New keys developed during the past year include interactive and dichotomous keys to species of the genera Erythroneura, Erasmoneura, Rossmonuera, and Hymetta. An interactive key to the 39 tribes of Deltocephalinae and related leafhopper subfamilies is also now available. A new tool for creating printable dichotomous keys was developed and used to produce keys for a monographic revision of the species of Erythroneura and three smaller erythroneurine genera. Our website also now hosts a key to Midwestern aphids of the genus Aphis, developed in another laboratory using our software. We presented posters on our 3I interactive key software at a recent Entomological Society of America national meeting and at the annual Taxonomic Databases Working Group meeting. PARTICIPANTS: Dmitry A. Dmitriev, a postdoctoral fellow in the PIs lab, developed the 3I software for this project and maintains the project website. He has received training in leafhopper taxonomy and comparative morphological analysis. James N. Zahniser, a PhD student in the PIs lab, developed the key to Deltocephalinae and also received training in taxonomy and comparative morphology. Sindhu M. Krishnankutty, a Masters student in the PIs lab, developed the key to species of Cuerna and also received training in taxonomy and comparative morphology. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audiences for this project are: 1) taxonomists who need efficient tools for managing large amounts of morphological, distributional, and ecological data on their study organisms; and 2) researchers working on groups of invasive pests (specifically, leafhoppers) who need accurate species identifications in order to carry out research on pest population dynamics, ecology, and bionomics.

Impacts
Since the beginning of the project, our website has been visited more than a half million times by a total of more than 49,000 unique visitors. The average number of hits per week is currently over 1,500. Several other laboratories are beginning to use the 3I software to develop their own online interactive keys. Thus, the project is enabling taxonomists to synthesize large amounts of data on a variety of economically important groups of insects and, in many cases, provide the first user-friendly tools for accurately identifying species.

Publications

  • Dietrich, C.H. and Dmitriev, D.A. 2007. Revision of the New World leafhopper genus Neozygina Dietrich and Dmitriev (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae: Erythroneurini). Zootaxa 1475: 27-42.
  • Dmitriev, D.A. and Dietrich, C.H. 2007. Review of the New World Erythroneurini (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae). I. Genera Erythroneura, Erasmoneura, Rossmoneura, and Hymetta. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 38(2): 59-128.


Progress 10/01/05 to 09/30/06

Outputs
On-line interactive keys developed so far are accessible via the following URL: http://ctap.inhs.uiuc.edu/dmitriev/3I_keys.asp. They include: (1) a key to tribes of leafhoppers (Cicadellidae); (2) a key to New World tribes of treehoppers (Membracidae); (3) a key to genera of the leafhopper tribe Erythroneurini; (4) keys to species of the erythroneurine leafhopper genera Erythroneura, Eratoneura, Erasmoneura, Erythridula, and Hymetta; (5) a key to genera of the sharpshooter tribe Proconiini; and (6) a key to species of the sharpshooter genus Cuerna. Together, these keys facilitate identification of more than 900 species and higher groups. For groups for which specimen label data have been entered into the database (Erythroneurini, Proconiini), distribution maps are accessible by clicking on the name of the species or higher taxon. Host plant data are also summarized for species of Erythroneurini.

Impacts
The availability of user-friendly tools for identification of large numbers of leafhopper species will overcome one of the major impediments to research on the ecology, behavior, and biodiversity of these insects by enabling users to identify specimens of unknown species with confidence. Many of the species included in the interactive keys have never been included in a key, published or otherwise, and prior to this work were essentially unidentifiable.

Publications

  • Dietrich, C.H. and Dmitriev, D.A. 2006. Review of the New World genera of the leafhopper tribe Erythroneurini (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Typhlocybinae). Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 37: 119-190.