Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343216

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

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Behavioral responses of male Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) to mating communication signals from vibration traps in citrus (Sapindales: Rutaceae) trees

item HARTMAN, E - University Of Florida
item ROHDE, B - University Of Florida
item LUJO, S - University Of Florida
item Dixon, Mary
item MCNEILL, S - Union College
item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2017
Publication Date: 12/12/2017
Citation: Hartman, E., Rohde, B., Lujo, S., Dixon, M.M., McNeill, S., Mankin, R.W. 2017. Behavioral responses of male Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) to mating communication signals from vibration traps in citrus (Sapindales: Rutaceae) trees. Florida Entomologist. 100(4):767-771.

Interpretive Summary: The Asian citrus psyllid is the vector of the bacterium that causes Huanglongbing disease in citrus that is causing great economic damage in Florida and worldwide. Detection of low Asian citrus psyllid populations is critical to providing advanced warning of the pest insect so that early treatments of new citrus can begin. Unlike other insects, adult Asian citrus psyllids communicate by creating vibrations in the stems of the trees. A novel method to detect low populations of Asian citrus psyllid is to trap males by using attractive vibrational mating communication. Students at the University of Florida and scientists at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, assessed materials to produce inexpensive devices that detect male Asian citrus psyllid vibrations and then immediately reply with synthetically produced female vibrations. Asian citrus psyllid males were attracted to the vibration devices but refinement using other environmental cues may be necessary to achieve the necessary levels of attraction for detecting very low population levels. The vibrational mimic devices were found to be a potentially useful component in monitoring for low populations of Asian citrus psyllid in citrus orchards.

Technical Abstract: The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, vectors the bacterium causing citrus greening disease, which has devastated citrus production worldwide wherever it has been introduced. To help monitor and target D citri populations in commercial groves, thereby facilitating more effective management of citrus greening disease, a prototype device has been developed that mimics D. citri female vibrational communication signals, attracting males to a trap. For this report, effects of the device on male D. citri searching behavior were assessed to consider potential improvements in field applications. Forty five per cent of the males that searched towards the female signal mimic reached the source. In addition, the mean latencies before the initiation of calling and searching responses by males that reached the source were significantly lower than for those that missed, which suggests that trapping efficiency is strongly influenced by variability in male responsiveness to searching cues. Consequently, it is likely that the trapping efficiency of vibration traps could be increased further if they were modified to make use of additional cues strongly attractive to males, such as citrus flush olfactory and visual cues.