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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: Relationships between adult abdominal color and reproductive potential in Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae)

Authors
item Wenninger, Erik
item Stelinski, Lukasz - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Hall, David

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2009
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
Citation: Wenninger, E., Stelinski, L.L., Hall, D.G. 2009. Relationships between adult abdominal color and reproductive potential in Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 102:476-483.

Interpretive Summary: At reproductive maturity, unmated adults of the Asian citrus psyllid typically exhibit two more or less distinct abdominal colors: gray/brown or blue/green. We examined how female and male abdominal color affected the number of eggs that females laid as well as percent egg fertility. Relative to blue/green females, gray/brown females laid fewer eggs over the first 2-5 d after mating, but the number of eggs laid did not differ over the remainder of a 21-d observation period. Females mated to gray/brown males showed an earlier, sharper peak in egg laying, whereas females mated to blue/green males showed a later, more gradual peak. Gray/brown males elicited lower egg fertility in their mates, but egg fertility did not differ according to female abdominal color. We also assessed how female and male abdominal color affected behavioral responses of males to crushed females in a Petri dish assay. Males—irrespective of abdominal color—exhibited stronger evidence of attraction to crushed blue/green females than to crushed gray/brown females, which may not be surprising given the lower initial reproductive output of gray/brown females observed here. Finally, we examined how psyllid body mass (which is closely related to abdominal color) was influenced by transfer of individuals to fresh plant material. A previous report showed that for both males and females, gray/brown individuals had lower body mass than blue/green individuals. Here, we show that gray/brown psyllids of both sexes exhibit an increase in body mass after transfer to a new citrus seedling, suggesting that abdominal color may be influenced at least in part by plant quality.

Technical Abstract: Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), a vector of huanglongbing (citrus greening disease), exhibits three more or less distinct abdominal colors in the adult stage: gray/brown, blue/green, and orange/yellow. A previous report showed that—relative to blue/green individuals—gray/brown individuals of both sexes have lower body mass, and gray/brown females may have lower reproductive output. In the present investigation we directly examined the relationships between female and male abdominal color and reproductive output. We also assessed how psyllid body mass was influenced by transfer to fresh plant material and how female and male abdominal color affected behavioral responses of males to crushed females in a Petri dish assay. Relative to blue/green females, gray/brown females exhibited lower fecundity over the first 2-5 d after mating, but fecundity did not differ over the remainder of a 21-d observation period. Females mated to gray/brown males showed an earlier, sharper peak in fecundity, whereas females mated to blue/green males showed a later, more gradual peak in fecundity. Gray/brown males elicited lower egg fertility in their mates, but egg fertility did not vary according to female abdominal color. Males—irrespective of abdominal color—exhibited stronger evidence of attraction to crushed blue/green females than to crushed gray/brown females. Gray/brown individuals of both sexes showed an increase in body mass 5-6 d after transfer to a new citrus seedling, suggesting that abdominal color (which is closely related to body mass) may be influenced at least in part by plant quality.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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