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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 #321827

Title: A “walker” tool to place Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) adults at predetermined sites for bioassays of behavior in citrus (Sapindales: Rutacease) trees

item Pregmon, Emily
item Lujo, Sylvia
item Norton, Kayla
item Hartman, Ethan
item BARUKH, ROHDE - University Of Florida
item Zagvazdina, Nina
item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2016
Citation: Pregmon, E.A., Lujo, S., Norton, K.R., Hartman, E.N., Barukh, R., Zagvazdina, N.Y., Mankin, R.W. 2016. A “walker” tool to place Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) adults at predetermined sites for bioassays of behavior in citrus (Sapindales: Rutacease) trees. Florida Entomologist. 99(2): 308-310.

Interpretive Summary: The spread of the citrus greening disease by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is a major threat to the citrus industry. Understanding of mating and oviposition of ACP on their citrus host trees can help develop methods to manage these serious economic pests more effectively. Researchers at the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, and the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, investigated methods to improve the operation of bioassays that explore ACP mating and host-tree movement behaviors. It was observed that ACP often disperses rapidly, i.e., they jump, when placed on a test tree using a standard paintbrush method. A “walker” tool was developed that takes advantage of the insect’s tendency to more towards light. The walker tool facilitates the placement of the psyllid precisely on a tree by allowing ACP to walk from the tool onto the plant. This method enables the ACP to be placed quickly at precise locations so that interactions between individuals and groups of individuals can be studied more effectively. The use of this technology can help researchers to more rapidly conduct effective and accurate behavioral bioassays for development of control methods for ACP.

Technical Abstract: A walker tool was developed to assist placement of D. citri on citrus host trees in behavioral bioassays. The walker performs better than a commonly used paintbrush tool in the proportion of successful placements and in the reduction of jumps away from the citrus leaf, although it takes about two minutes longer to perform the placement. Although slower, the walker tool overall is a more reliable device than the paintbrush. Females and males performed similarly with both devices.