American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several small insects of the genus Phylloxera that are related to aphids, especially P. vitifoliae, a widely distributed species very destructive to grape crops.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of plant-lice or homopterous insects of the family Aphididæ and. subfamily Chermesinæ, usually of gall-making habits. The front wings have two discoidal veins, and the antennæ are three-jointed, the third joint being much the longest. The young larvæ have one-jointed tarsi, and all forms are destitute of honey-tubes. It is a somewhat large genus, nearly all of whose species are North American, forming galls on the leaves of the hickory in particular, but also on those of the chestnut, butternut, and oak, as P. rileyi, the oak-pest. One species, P. vastatrix, is a formidable pest of the European grape (Vitis vinifera).
See def. 2.
- n. [lowercase] A member of this genus, especially the species just named, known as the grape-vine phylloxera and vine-pest, the worst enemy of the European or vinifera grape. The fact that a vine-disease which had long existed in southern France was due to this insect was discovered in 1865 by Planchon, who described the insect as P. vastatrix. The species had been named before (though Planchon's name holds by common consent); for in 1854 Fitch had described an American gall-louse on grape-leaves as Pemphigus vitifoliæ, and this was identified with the European root-louse (Phylloxera vastatrix) by Riley in 1870. The same discovery was made by European observers in the same year. It is now established that the native country of this phylloxera is North America east of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, whence it spread to Europe, and more recently to California, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. The insect exists under two distinct forms: the root-form, called
radicicola, on the roots of the vine, and the gall-form, called gallicola, in galls on the leaves of the grape. The galls are transient, being numerous one year and scarce the next. The root-form is like the gall-form at first, but later acquires certain characteristic tubercles. The phylloxera hibernates as a winter egg above or below ground, or as a young larva on the roots. Late in the summer a generation of winged agamic females is produced; these fly abroad and spread the pest. One of the females lays from three to eight delicate eggs in or on the ground or on the under side of the leaf, and from these eggs issue the true males and females, both of which are wingless. These mate, and the female lays the winter egg. The wingless hypogeal female may occasionally lay eggs which bring forth the sexual brood without the intervention of a winged generation, but this is exceptional. The wingless individuals spread from vine to vine, and the winged ones carry the pest from one vineyard to another. The symptoms of the disease above ground are the yellowing of the leaves the second year and the death of the vine the third year. Below ground, little knots are formed on the small fibrous roots the first year; these roots decay the next year, and the lice settle on the main roots. The third year these rot, and then the vine dies. The vines susceptible to this infestation include all the varieties of the Vitis vinifera, the wine-grape of Europe and California and the hothouse-grape —the most valuable of the grape family. The French government early offered a reward of 300,000 francs for a satisfactory remedy, but this prize has never been awarded. The most effectual methods of dealing with the phylloxera thus far ascertained are the underground injection of bisulphid of carbon by means of a specially contrived apparatus, the application of a watery solution of sulphocarbonate of potassium, and the grafting of the European vine upon hardy American varieties, as the Taylor, Clinton, and Jacques. See also cuts under gall-louse, oak-pest, and vine-pest.
- n. A genus of lepidopterous insects
- n. An aphid, of the genus Phylloxera, that is very destructive to grape vines
- n. The diseased condition of a vine caused by this aphid.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A small hemipterous insect (Phylloxera vastatrix) allied to the aphids. It attacks the roots and leaves of the grapevine, doing great damage, especially in Europe.
- n. The diseased condition of a vine caused by the insect just described.
- n. type genus of the Phylloxeridae: plant lice
- From Ancient Greek φύλλον (phyllon, "leaf") + ξηρός (xeros, "dry") (Wiktionary)
- New Latin Phylloxēra, genus name : Greek phullo-, phyllo- + Greek xēros, dry. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In the 19th century, a plague of insects called phylloxera decimated the vines used to grow wine grapes in Europe.”
“These galls are caused by small insects known as phylloxera, which are closely related to aphids, or plant lice.”
“In 1863 it partially recovered, under the free use of sulphur; but now it has been ravaged by the more dangerous phylloxera, which is spreading far faster than Mr. Henry Vizetelly supposes.”
“Read More Drinking Now: Synchronicity Its downfall came in the form of two fungal diseases that ripped through the vineyards—first oidium, which at the height of its powers, effects grape ripening; followed by phylloxera, a root-feeding aphid that destroys vines.”
“Following the phylloxera outbreak in 1918, the Co-operative Wine Growers Association KWV was created to help protect the Cape's wine industry by setting minimum prices and limiting production.”
“The effects of the vine-eating louse phylloxera and the construction of the Paris-to-Marseilles railway line in the mid-19th century, which opened Paris up to wines from farther afield, conspired to hit its production.”
“It was actually one of the first regions in Spain to experience mass-production in the 19th century, when its proximity to Barcelona and the French market whose wine industry was struggling under devastating effects of the vine-eating louse phylloxera provided a ready market for its wine.”
“Prum sees the massive bridge and roadway project as the biggest threat to the area since the great, late-19th century phylloxera insect epidemic that ravaged European vineyards.”
“Disaster hit 100 years ago in the form of the phylloxera insect pest that spread from mainland Europe and wiped out production, until a group of local farmers revived the tradition in the 1990s by importing vines from Italy.”
“Eighty years after absinthe came on the market, it exploded in popularity, thanks to a bug called phylloxera that in 1870 began chewing its way through the root stocks of vineyards all over the country, almost destroying the French wine industry in the process.”
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