Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol ResearchTitle: Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) responses to microcontroller-buzzer communication signals of potential use in vibration traps Author
Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/17/2013
Publication Date: 12/1/2013
Citation: Mankin, R.W., Rohde, B.B., Mcneill, S.A., Paris, T.M., Greenfeder, S. 2013. Didiaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) responses to microcontroller-buzzer communication signals of potential use in vibration traps. Florida Entomologist. 96:1548-1555. Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, and the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, have investigated and mimicked the vibratory communication of the Asian citrus psyllid, an important vector of huanglongbing, which is a devastating disease of citrus. Methods were developed to produce vibrational communication signals that elicited responses from male and female psyllids, and a vibrational trap is being developed based on the test results. A successful trap would help pest managers target psyllid infestations.
Technical Abstract: Monitoring of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama populations is an important component of efforts to reduce damage caused by huanglongbing, a devastating disease it vectors in citrus groves. Currently, D. citri is monitored primarily by unbaited sticky traps or visual inspection of trees. A potentially more effective method might result from attracting males to vibrational communications produced by females. Males buzz their wings and transmit substrate-vibration calls while searching for females on branches and stems. When nearby receptive females detect the calls, they reply immediately in synchronized duets that help direct the males towards them. The spectral and temporal patterns of the duets have been analyzed in previous studies and have been mimicked successfully with laptop computers operating mechanical vibration exciters. Males and females both respond to signals produced by either sex but display different behaviors during duets. To devise practical methods to attract and trap males using vibrational signals in field environments, a microcontroller platform was tested for capability to control inexpensive vibration sensing and output devices. The initial test of the microcontroller involved programming of signals sent to a piezo buzzer for broadcast of different D. citri signal mimics. A mimic that elicited strong female responses was tested in bioassays that jointly compared it with other previously bioassayed signals, and the response to the mimic was found to be statistically comparable to that elicited by a recorded male call. The success of the mimic suggests there is opportunity to develop microcontroller systems further as a means of trapping psyllids.