• WordNet 3.6
    • n Phylloxera type genus of the Phylloxeridae: plant lice
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Phylloxera (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.
    • Phylloxera The diseased condition of a vine caused by the insect just described.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n phylloxera 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 phylloxera [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 phylloxera A genus of lepidopterous insects
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Phylloxera fil-ok-sē′ra a genus of insects, belonging to a family nearly related to aphides and coccus insects, very destructive to vines.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. leaf + dry
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. phyllon, a leaf, xēros, dry.


In literature:

I told you, Domini, that the vines were devoured by the phylloxera.
"The Garden Of Allah" by Robert Hichens
You Phylloxera, that are eating into our whole moral vine-crop!
"Three Dramas" by Björnstjerne M. Björnson
Is not barrenness of the soil responsible for disease in potatoes, for San Jose scale, Phylloxera, and other similar phenomena.
"Valere Aude" by Louis Dechmann
The vineyards have been almost completely destroyed by the phylloxera.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3" by Various
These galls are caused by a small louse, the phylloxera.
"Agriculture for Beginners" by Charles William Burkett
THE PHYLLOXERA pest, which has wrought such havoc among vineyards throughout Europe, has invaded California also.
"Buchanan's Journal of Man, January 1888" by Various
Many of the inhabitants yet alive can remember the phylloxera destroying them.
"Merry-Garden and Other Stories" by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
At once the reconstruction of vineyards in Europe was begun by grafting the grapes on phylloxera-resistant roots.
"Manual of American Grape-Growing" by U. P. Hedrick
Want of rain and the phylloxera are constant anxieties at the Cape.
"The Last Voyage" by Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
Both of these are deadly poisons to the phylloxera as well as to man.
"The Galaxy, April, 1877" by Various

In news:

It was a traditional part of the Bordeaux blend until the phylloxera vineyard epidemic in Europe required replanting of vines on native American rootstock.
Food Chain / Food & Drink Pop-up dinner: "In Times of Phylloxera ".
While it sounds like a venereal disease or a type of periodontal infection, phylloxera is actually a tiny white louse that sucks the nutrients from the roots of grape vines, slowly killing the plants.
Colares is also one of the world's most unusual wine-growing zones, because its sandy soils are immune to the vine pest phylloxera.
Scion 's story sounds like a wine collector's fantasy: Made from grapes harvested in 1855, before phylloxera decimated the vineyards of Europe, it was aged in wood for over 150 years.
Founded in 1978, the winery has some of the most mature vineyards in the region, or – - given the extensive replanting of California vineyards to avoid further damage from the phylloxera louse – - in the country.