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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315733

Title: Effects of atmospheric pressure trends on calling, mate-seeking, and phototaxis of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

item Zagvazdina, Nina
item PARIS, T - University Of Florida
item Udell, Bradley
item Stanislauskas, Milda
item MCNEILL, S - Union College
item Allan, Sandra - Sandy
item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2015
Publication Date: 7/23/2015
Citation: Zagvazdina, N.Y., Paris, T.M., Udell, B.J., Stanislauskas, M., Mcneill, S., Allan, S.A., Mankin, R.W. 2015. Effects of atmospheric pressure trends on calling, mate-seeking, and phototaxis of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 108(5):762-770.

Interpretive Summary: The Asian Citrus Psyllid is the insect vector that spreads citrus greening disease to citrus trees. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, and the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, noticed changes in Asian citrus psyllid mating and flight behaviors that occurred in the laboratory during periods of unsettled weather outdoors. Because the insects were shielded from temperature, humidity, and wind variation, they examined the impact of barometric pressure changes on mating and flight behaviors. The study confirmed that the altered mating and flight behaviors were correlated with changes in barometric pressure. This suggests that including the effects of barometric pressure as a predictive parameter to optimize the timing of application will increase the efficiency of control measures.

Technical Abstract: Insects and other animals sometimes modify behavior in response to changes in atmospheric pressure, an environmental cue that can provide warning of potentially injurious windy and rainy weather. To determine if Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) calling, mate-seeking, and phototaxis behaviors were affected by atmospheric pressure, we conducted analyses to correlate responsiveness with pressure trends over periods up to 48 h before laboratory bioassays. Mean responsiveness increased or decreased depending on the magnitudes and directions of pressure changes measured over different time periods up to 24 h before bioassays, and changed differently in calling and mate-seeking bioassays than in phototaxis bioassays. For example, mean responsiveness decreased in mating behavior bioassays but increased in phototaxis bioassays when atmospheric pressure changed more than one standard deviation over a 24-h period. Such a result is consistent with a hypothesis that there may be survival benefits to focusing energy on dispersal or migration rather than mating after occurrences of sustained, unusual pressure changes. A finding that mean phototactic responses increased when pressure decreased over 9-24-h periods before bioassays is potentially of practical interest. More knowledge about the effects of atmospheric pressure and other environmental variables on behavior can lead to improved models of psyllid movement or other pest management tools as well as to improved timing of application of pest management tools.