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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 #342948

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

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Evidence of behavior-based utilization by the Asian citrus psyllid of a combination of short and long wavelengths

Author
item Paris, Thomson
item Allan, Sandra - Sandy
item Udell, Bradley
item Stansly, Philip

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2017
Publication Date: 12/13/2017
Citation: Paris, T.M., Allan, S.A., Udell, B.J., Stansly, P.A. 2017. Evidence of behavior-based utilization by the Asian citrus psyllid of a combination of short and long wavelengths. PLoS One. 12(12):e0189228. https://10.1371/journal.pone.0189228.

Interpretive Summary: The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is the vector of Huanglongbing, the most serious disease affecting citrus globally. In Florida alone, Huanglongbing has resulted in billions of dollars of damage and has been spread by ACP to all the citrus growing regions of North America. The detection and monitoring of low population densities is critical for establishing early control measures. Development of more effective traps depends on identifying and integrating more environmental cues. In this study, a scientist at USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, collaborated with colleagues from University of Florida, to conduct a laboratory study to assess the importance of color in the visual behavior of ACP. The influence of light transmitted through different colored filters on changing attraction to current traps was evaluated. It was determined that psyllids respond with strong attraction to a combination of ultraviolet and yellow light, “psyllid purple”. This demonstrates the potential of integrating light systems that produce ‘psyllid purple” into traps to enhance current surveillance technology for detection of low populations of ACP, thus providing early warning of infestations so that protective control for vulnerable citrus can be implemented.

Technical Abstract: The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, is the vector of huanglongbing, the most serious disease affecting citrus globally. In Florida alone, D. citri has resulted in billions of dollars of damage and has spread to all the citrus growing regions of North America. The visual behavior of D. citri is not well characterized and more knowledge can provide a basis for the development of attractive traps for monitoring and control of the D. citri. Bioassays were conducted to evaluate attraction responses of D. citri to light transmitted through different colored filters. Attraction of D. citri to transparent visual targets made of blue, green or yellow filters each also transmitting ultra-violet (UV) light. UV light (< 400 nm) enhanced the attraction of targets with predominately green or yellow hues, however attraction to blue targets was unaffected by the presence or absence of UV light. Examination of the reflectance spectra of habitat-associated materials did not provide insight into naturally occurring sources of both UV and yellow reflectance. This is the first study to demonstrate a phytophagous insect responding to a hue that is a combination of long and short wavelengths (“psyllid purple”). The ecological implications of these findings are uncertain and further testing is needed to determine how D. citri use such discriminatory powers in the field. Our results further imply that D. citri utilize color vision, as the less intense yellow and green hues were chosen over white light. In summary, this research provides an increased understanding of D. citri visual behavior and can be used for the development of a more attractive D. citri trap than those currently available.