Morphological variations and abundance of populations of the leafhopper Dalbulus maidis (DeLong) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) from the corn-producing region of Huila, Colombia
Dalbulus maidis is known as the vector of the pathogens causing corn stunt complex disease that decreases crop yields to percentages higher than 90%. In the most affected areas of this disease, there is an increase in the abundance of this insect. This research evaluated the abundance and morphological characterization of populations of D. maidis collected from the region of Huila and determined the possible morphological variations within these populations. Leafhopper samples were collected in corn crops from 40 to 70 d after planting from eight localities in the corn-producing region of Huila. Taxonomic determination was carried out and twelve morphological characters were compared to evaluate the inter-population variations. Analyses of variance were performed to determine significant differences between individuals at three levels: abundance from specific corn-producing areas, morphotype, and sex. A total of 6,722 individuals were found, separated into four morphotypes. Total length, head length, and distance between the eyes showed significant differences. This study can serve as a basis for a better understanding of the vector for future research in the corn-producing regions of Colombia.