WHY DO WE NEED YOUR HELP?
Xylella fastidiosa has been described by the European Commission as “one of the most dangerous plant bacteria worldwide, causing a variety of diseases, with huge economic impact for agriculture, public gardens and the environment.” There is currently no cure for the disease which is known to infect more than 300 types of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. The bacterium is transmitted (vectored) by insects such as leafhoppers and froghoppers/spittlebugs that feed on the xylem, the plant tissue that transports water from roots to leaves in plants. As part of the BRIGIT project, a consortium for enhancing UK surveillance and response to this devastating disease, we need to better understand the distribution and ecology of these xylem-feeding insects so we can predict how the disease might spread if it reaches the UK.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Help us find froghoppers, spot spittlebugs and look for leafhoppers!
The most common vectors of the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium are froghoppers/spittlebugs and some leafhoppers. The immature stages (nymphs) of froghoppers produce the frothy blogs of spittle which are a familiar sight in spring.
Please submit sightings of spittle, whether in your garden or in the countryside. We also welcome reports of any species in
the genera Anoterostemma, Aphrophora, Cercopis, Cicadella, Euscelis, Evacanthus,
Graphocephala, Neophilaenus and Philaenus. We will ask you to let us know where you saw it, when, and (if possible)
the species of plant on which it was found. We will also ask you to add at least one photograph of your find.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance: We welcome records of sightings from your garden or those gathered when exercising in the wider countryside. Please follow current Government advice about social distancing when walking in the countryside.
Thanks for your interest in supporting this important area of research. You can find out more about the BRIGIT project at https://www.jic.ac.uk/brigit/
Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or comments.