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Title: Feeding behavior of the stink bug Bagrada hilaris is changed by the electrical signals applied during EPG recordings

item TUELHER, EDMAR DE SOUZA - University Of Vocosa
item LUCINI, TIAGO - Federal University Of Parana Polytechnic Center
item Cervantes, Felix
item Backus, Elaine

Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/2016
Publication Date: 6/17/2016
Citation: Tuelher, E., Lucini, T., Cervantes, F.A., Backus, E.A. 2016. Feeding behavior of the stink bug Bagrada hilaris is changed by the electrical signals applied during EPG recordings. International Congress of Entomology. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Feeding behavior of piercing-sucking insects is most rigorously studied using eletropenetrography (EPG). This technique utilizes an electrical circuit to record waveforms caused by voltage fluctuations when a wired insect inserts its stylet into an electrified plant. Past researchers have asserted the electrical signal applied to the plant does not influence insect behavior; however, this assertion has not been adequately tested. The research objective was to test whether applied signal type, level, or amplifier sensitivity (input impedance) quantitatively changed behavior of the painted stink bug, Bagrada hilaris. The 2x2 experimental design used an adjustable, four-channel AC-DC monitor to compare two input impedances (10^7 or 10^9 Ohms) against two signal types (AC or DC). The first experiment used high voltage (550 mV); the second used low voltage (50 mV). Adult female B. hilaris were wired, starved for one hour, and then recorded for seven hours on the 4th leaf of Napa cabbage plants, Brassica rapa var. ‘pekinensis.’ The results confirmed that electrical signals applied in an EPG circuit directly affected feeding. Less feeding was performed at higher voltage than at lower voltage. Within each experiment, feeding also was influenced by signal type and input impedance. Consequently, applied signal type, level, and input impedance all affect painted stink bug feeding. As EPG is used more often in the future for evaluating insecticide efficacy, host plant resistance, and other needed studies of stink bug feeding, researchers must carefully choose monitor settings to avoid deleterious electrical effects on insect subjects.