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Genetic Variability of Two Leaffooted Bugs, Leptoglossus clypealis and Leptoglossus zonatus (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in the Central Valley of California

A. L. Joyce, B. S. Higbee, D. R. Haviland, H. Brailovsky
Journal of economic entomology 2017 v.110 no.6 pp. 2576-2589
Leptoglossus clypealis, Leptoglossus zonatus, almonds, amplified fragment length polymorphism, cryptic species, dominant species, genetic markers, genetic variation, growing season, haplotypes, host plants, mitochondrial DNA, orchards, pest management, pistachios, pomegranates, surveys, Brazil, Central Valley of California
Leaffooted plant bugs (LFPBs) (Leptoglossus spp., Guérin-Méneville) (Hemiptera: Coreidae) are large seed-feeding bugs native to the Western Hemisphere. In California, several Leptoglossus spp. feed on almonds, pistachios, and pomegranate and are occasional pests.The objective of this study was to survey the different species of Leptoglossus present in almond, pistachio, and pomegranate orchards in the Central Valley of California. We used two molecular markers, amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and mitochondrial DNA COI, to determine the number of species or strains of each species, and to infer whether individuals of each species move and possibly interbreed with populations from the other host plants. Two species of leaffooted bugs were abundant, Leptoglossus clypealis Heidemann, and Leptoglossus zonatus (Dallas). L. clypealis was collected in almond and pistachio, while L. zonatus was found on all three host plants, but was the dominant species in pomegranate. The AFLP results indicated that L. clypealis consisted of one species, which suggests it moves between almonds and pistachios during the growing season. Mitochondrial DNA COI for L. clypealis found 1–2% divergence between sequences, and a high haplotype diversity of 0.979 with 17 haplotypes. The AFLP results for L. zonatus found two genetically divergent populations which were morphologically similar. The mtDNA COI sequences for L. zonatus were used for haplotype analysis; three haplotypes were found in California, with one haplotype shared with collections from Brazil. The importance of genetic variability and cryptic species for pest management are discussed.