Abstract

Plant species associated with commercial melon crops and surrounding areas were examined to identity the natural host plants of Aphis gossypii Glover. The study was conducted in two farms located in different melon production areas and plant life zones of Costa Rica. Plant species diversity, percent coverage and distribution over time were recorded during one year. Differences between locations were observed. Atotal of 86 plant species (49 families) and 72 plant species (40 families) were identified associated to the crop in farms A and B, respectively. In both farms a total of 24 species plants (16 families) were colonized by A. gossypii and 16 (10 families) are new reports of host plant species for this aphid. The new reports are: Justicia comata, Tetramerium nervosum, Alternanthera pubiflora, Cassia massoni, C. reticulata, Cleome viscosa, C. spinosa, Croton argenteus, Caperonia palustris, Chamaesyce gyssopilopia, Phyllantus amarus, Sida decumbens, Ludwigia erecta, Passiflora foetida, Guazuma ulmifolia and Corchorus orinocensis.
Keywords: cucurbitaceae, aphids host plants, papaya ringspot virus, watermelon mosaic virus-2, cucumber mosaic virus, zucchini mosaic virus