The community ecology of Ribautodelphax imitans (RIBAUT, 1953) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), a rare UK planthopper in a distinct grassland habitat
Dittrich, Alex D. K.
Helden, Alvin J.
Ribautodelphax imitans Ribaut. (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) is a rare planthopper throughout its recorded range, and in the UK where it is afforded conservation priority status. Following the discovery of this species on a site in Cambridgeshire, UK in 2010 a study was designed to understand the population status of R. imitans and its place in the Auchenorrhyncha community structure. The species was found not to be rare within the community – in fact it was one of the most abundant delphacids on the site. However, the community was dominated by Javesella pellucida (Fab.). Although the reason for the general rarity of R. imitans on a national scale is still unclear, evidence from the community structure suggests that strong interspecies interactions between other species that it is phenologically synchronous with may be a factor.