Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Distribución y abundancia de la prosapia (Homoptera : Cercopidae) en las fincas de la zona de Monteverde


Ryan Brower



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Publication Date

August 2008


Prosapia spp. commonly known as spittle bugs, froghoppers, or “la Prosapia”, are pasture pests for dairy farmers in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. The adults eat pasture grass, disturb plant growth, as well as reduce nutritional and palatability values of the pasture grass for dairy cattle, and are responsible “froghopper burn”. This study examined the relationship between altitude and Prosapia abundance in cattle pastures of farms surrounding Monteverde in Costa Rica. It was hypothesized that abundance will differ with altitude. A total of 11 farms in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica ranging from 825 m to 1510 m in elevation were surveyed between July 18, 2008 and July 30, 2008. At each farm, the owners were questioned about the number of cows, hectares of pasture grass, days of grazing before rotating cows, use of pesticides, chopping and/or burning of grass, and type of pasture grass. Prosapia adults and nymphs were counted by hand within three randomly chosen 1 m2 plots of pasture grass of the same farm and the grass was identified as either “burned” or “not burned”. “Burned” pastures were almost completely yellow and dying; while “not burned” pastures were almost completely green. A significant difference in Prosapia abundance was found between “burned” and “not burned” pastures with a higher average abundance of Prosapia in the “burned” pastures. A significant difference in the average altitude of“burned” and “not burned” pastures was found, with “burned” pastures having a higher average altitude. Overall, while no significant trend was found between abundance and altitude, the data strongly suggest that Prosapia abundance increases with altitude. La Prosapia spp. se conoce comúnmente como salivazos o “la Prosapia”, y es una peste en los potreros de las fincas en Monteverde. Los adultos se alimentan del zacate de los potreros, afectando así el crecimiento de la planta y reduciendo los valores nutricionales del pasto para el ganado lechero, siendo responsables de la “quema” del zacate por los salivazos. Este estudio examino la relación entre la elevación y la abundancia de la Prosapia en los potreros de Monteverde, Costa Rica.


Cercopidae, Pastures, Potreros, Diseases and pests, Enfermedades y plagas, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde, CIEE Summer 2008, CIEE Verano 2008


Student Affiliation : Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Born Digital

Subject: topical

Cercopidae; Pastures; Potreros; Diseases and pests; Enfermedades y plagas; CIEE Summer 2008; CIEE Verano 2008

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Distribution and abundance of Prosapia (Homoptera  :  Cercopidae) in Monteverde-area farms



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