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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUBTROPICAL INSECT PESTS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Daily and seasonal patterns in abdomen color in Diaphoria citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae)

Authors
item Wenninger, Erik
item HALL, DAVID

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Wenninger, E., Hall, D.G. 2008. Daily and seasonal dynamics in abdomen color in Diaphoria citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 101:585-595.

Interpretive Summary: We conducted studies to explore the daily and seasonal patterns in the abdomen color in the Asian citrus psyllid, and to investigate how abdomen color relates to whether an individual is reproductively mature or has mated. Adult psyllids exhibit three more or less distinct abdomen colors: gray/brown, blue/green, and orange/yellow. Females were predominantly blue/green throughout their lives, with a small portion of individuals being gray/brown, especially just after emergence. About 86% of mated females developed an orange/yellow abdomen color after mating, but ultimately turned back to blue/green within several days to one month after mating. Only 31% of unmated females turned orange/yellow. Males were predominantly blue/green early in life, but a greater portion of males relative to females were gray/brown. The orange/yellow color in females reflected the presence of eggs in the abdomen; in males it appeared to derive from the color of the internal reproductive organs and was generally only evident in older males. The preponderance of blue/green females, rarity of gray/brown females relative to gray/brown males, and rarity of orange/yellow individuals of either sex was largely reflected in trap captures from the field. Abdomen color is of essentially no value in discerning the state of sexual maturity and of only limited value in discerning whether females have mated.

Technical Abstract: Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, a psyllid vector of huanglongbing (citrus greening disease), exhibits three more or less distinct abdomen colors in the adult psyllid: gray/brown, blue/green, and orange/yellow. We explored the daily (in individuals in the laboratory) and seasonal (in a field population) patterns in abdomen color of adult D. citri to clarify the biology of this species in relation to abdomen color and investigate the relationship between abdomen color and the reproductive state of adults (i.e. whether an individual is reproductively mature, has mated, or—in females—is gravid). Females were predominantly blue/green throughout their lives, with a small portion of individuals being gray/brown, especially just after emergence. About 86% of mated females developed an orange/yellow abdomen color after mating, but ultimately turned back to blue/green within several days to one month after mating. Only 31% of virgin females turned orange/yellow. Males were predominantly blue/green early in life, but a greater portion of males relative to females were gray/brown. The orange/yellow color in females reflected the presence of eggs in the abdomen; in males it appeared to derive from the color of the internal reproductive organs and was generally only evident in older males. The preponderance of blue/green females, rarity of gray/brown females relative to gray/brown males, and rarity of orange/yellow males and females was largely reflected in sticky card trap captures from the field. Abdomen color is of essentially no value in discerning the state of sexual maturity and of only limited value in discerning whether females have mated.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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