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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 #335406

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Insect Pest Management of Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Effects of citrus flush quality and psyllid population density on use of vibrational communication signals for Diaphorina citri management

item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Journal of Citrus Pathology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2017
Publication Date: 3/17/2017
Citation: Mankin, R.W., Patel, R., Norton, K.R., Cantillo, J.M. 2017. Effects of citrus flush quality and psyllid population density on use of vibrational communication signals for Diaphorina citri management. Journal of Citrus Pathology. 4:27.

Interpretive Summary: The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an important invasive pest in citrus growing regions of the US which vectors bacteria that causes huanglongbing disease. Huanglongbing kills citrus trees and reduces the economic viability of citrus production. This pest aggregates and feeds on young shoots of citrus flush. It communicates for mating through vibrational calls carried from psyllid to psyllid along the branches of the host citrus trees. Efforts to understand and manipulate ACP vibrational calls are being conducted to reduce psyllid populations and the spread of Huanglongbing. Students at the University of Florida and University of Virginia, and scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, have discovered that the rate and timing of ACP calls is affected by the density of psyllids in aggregations on citrus flush. At low psyllid densities there is potential that the broadcast of synthetic calls which have been demonstrated to disrupt mating might also disrupt how psyllids find young citrus flush on on which they need to forage.

Technical Abstract: Diaphorina citri is an important pest of citrus because it vectors the devastating citrus greening bacterial disease. It is known that males locate potential mates on tree branches by use of vibrational communication. Research on this behavior may help combat the citrus-greening epidemic that has affected Florida and other regions, such as through trapping (1) and the inhibition of psyllid mating (2). However, because this is a new area of study, many questions remain about the application of such technology in field environments. Potentially, vibrational communication behavior could be affected significantly by the quality of flush and/or by the density of D. citri on individual trees, both of which would affect the psyllid movement patterns that the vibrational communication attempts to pre-empt. Experiments were conducted to monitor calling and aggregation of D. citri males and females at different densities on feather flush and older flush of small citrus trees. Results of the study and implications for pest management are discussed.