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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Research Project #420610


Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To evaluate/develop a mechanical drive for sampling Asian citrus psyllid.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Pest & Disease Management and ARS will identify research needs relative to validating the effectiveness of the mechanical sampling device and work together to accomplish the research. A sampling unit will be identified for the device (either time of operation or number of trees sampled). Numbers of psyllids captured per sample unit will be determined at multiple locations in different blocks of trees. The effect of the device on fruit drop will be explored. Modifications to the device will be considered in an effort to increase efficiency, stabilize variability and reduce any negative effects associated with fruit drop.

3. Progress Report:
This project is related to Objective 3c: Investigate basic biology and ecology of the Asian citrus psyllid and its natural enemies in Florida citrus. A number of different methods can be used to detect and monitor Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) including tap samples, sticky traps, sweep samples, visual searches, and flush shoot samples. Each of these methods has value in determining the presence and abundance of ACP, but there are advantages and disadvantages associated with each method. A number of factors may ultimately influence which sampling method to use. However, none of these methods can be used to quickly survey a large block of trees unless few trees are actually examined and/or many scouts are available for the survey. We concluded research on a mechanical device for detecting and monitoring ACP in citrus. The device is attached to a vehicle and pulled through an orchard. Vertical baffles extending from the device are kept in contact with the outer edge of tree canopies while driving along a row. Adult psyllids are flicked by these baffles onto large sticky traps positioned below the baffles. Moving at speeds up to 5.0 mph, the device can be used to sample a large number of trees at a fast pace. Among 51 blocks of trees studied, the device caught an average of 20 ACP but up to 160 ACP per 1,000 ft of trees. Limited data suggest that the device may be similar to other sampling methods with respect to detecting psyllids when populations are moderately high. Of interest is the efficiency of detection methods when ACP populations are small. Intuitively, the chances of detecting ACP should be increased by increasing the number of trees sampled across an area, which the mechanical device facilitates.

4. Accomplishments