Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research
Project Number: 6036-22000-025-22-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Nov 5, 2013
End Date: Jun 30, 2014
Management of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP, Diaphorina citri) is a key factor in controlling the citrus huanglongbing (HLB) disease in Florida. The only commonly used method for trapping and monitoring ACP is an unbaited visually attractive sticky trap. A potentially more efficient trap was developed in an earlier part of this study that collects male ACP searching for females in branches of high-value citrus trees, enabling more precise targeting and control of incipient infestations than is currently available. While testing of this new trap continues, we are beginning a second phase to study the potential of confusing male ACP searching for females by presenting synthetic female reply signals from multiple different locations whenever a male calls. The early results of this experiment suggest that this “confusion” approach has considerable potential, either as a way to habituate the male to female vibrational replies or to obscure their locations.
We will purchase commercial bird-distress-call speaker systems or other robust systems that operate well in field environments. We will modify them to produce female psyllid reply signals based on the electronics experience we have already gained from developing the vibration traps. We will test the effects of these signals on ACP mating in laboratory and field environments and also will test the effects of these signals on vibration trap captures. The testing will help determine the signal magnitudes and duty cycles needed for a confusion effect, and whether it is better to produce the signals through speakers or waveguides, and it would provide insights into the mating behavior of these important pests.