Title: Responses of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) to conspecific vibrational signals and synthetic mimics Authors
Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2013
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Citation: Rohde, B., Paris, T.M., Heatherington, H., Hall, D.G., Mankin, R.W. 2013. Responses of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) to conspecific vibrational signals and synthetic mimics. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 106(3):392-399. Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the USDA/Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, and the U. S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, Florida, have investigated the vibratory communication of the Asian citrus psyllid, an important vector of huanglongbing, which is a devastating disease of citrus. Methods were developed to test the behavioral responses of the psyllids to different recorded and synthetic vibrational signals. Males on citrus plants were attracted to several of the signals, and a vibrational trap is being developed based on the test results. A successful trap would help pest managers target psyllid infestations.
Technical Abstract: Mate-seeking in Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, a vector of the economically damaging huanglongbing citrus disease, typically includes male-female duetting behaviors. First, the male calls by beating its wings at ca. 170-250 Hz, producing vibrations that are transmitted along the host tree branches to the female. If receptive, she immediately replies, helping to direct the searching male towards her. The duetting and searching then continue until the male locates the female. Males and females are similar in size and produce wingbeat vibrations with similar temporal and spectral patterns. A study of male and female responses to playbacks of recorded and synthetic mimics of different vibrational signals on citrus plants was conducted to better understand the range of signals to which D. citri respond and potentially to co-opt or disrupt their vibrational communication. In general, both sexes responded well to a variety of 0.3-0.5-s signals that included multiple harmonics of ca. 200-Hz wingbeat-frequency chirps up to ca. 1,400 Hz (where a chirp is a sine wave tone that sweeps across a narrow range of frequencies). There were only minor differences in female responses to signals containing different relative amplitudes of such chirps, and males readily located sources that played these multiple-harmonic signals. The results are discussed in relation to mating signal selectivity and the potential for developing automated methods to trap male D. citri using vibrational signals.