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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 #345532

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

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Vibrational trapping and interference with mating of Diaphorina citri

item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2019
Publication Date: 11/30/2019
Citation: Mankin, R.W. 2019. Vibrational trapping and interference with mating of Diaphorina citri. In: Hill P., Lakes-Harlan R., Mazzoni V., Narins P., Virant-Doberlet M., Wessel A. (eds) Biotremology:Studying Vibrational Behavior. Animal Signals and Communication. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing Cham,Switzerland. p.399-413.

Interpretive Summary: The Asian citrus psyllid is a major pest of citrus in Florida and is the vector of the Huanglongbing disease that is devastating citrus in Florida and across the world. Alternative methods of reproductive control for the Asian citrus psyllid are needed to assist in management of the infestation and disease. Scientists at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, designed, constructed, and successfully tested microcontroller-operated devices that interfere with vibrational communication and disrupt mating of the Asian citrus psyllid. The new devices have potential to target and reduce field populations of Asian citrus psyllids in citrus groves, thereby reducing the likelihood that these insects will develop resistance to heavily used pesticides. The devices also have potential use against other insect pests, such as glassy winged-sharpshooter, that also mates using vibrational communication.

Technical Abstract: Microcontroller-platform devices are described that detect Diaphorina citri male vibrational communication calls and, within 0.4s, broadcast mimics of female vibrational replies. The devices successfully interfere with mating of Diaphorina citri in 1-h tests on citrus trees, reducing the mating percentage significantly from 57% in the control to 13% in disruption tests. Video and audio monitoring of searching behaviors in laboratory bioassays indicate that males are attracted to the source of the female reply mimics. The percentage of mating may be reduced by: 1) interference of a louder and earlier reply mimic, more attractive to the male than the female reply; 2) masking of the female reply by the louder mimic; or 3) reduction of female responsiveness in the presence of other female replies, or possibly by combinations of these effects. In male D. citri trapping bioassays the device has successfully trapped 45% of males stimulated to initiate search behavior in 1-h tests on citrus trees. Factors that may affect usage of these devices in field applications positively or negatively are considered, including female and male social, flush-seeking and phototactic behaviors. In addition potential applications are discussed for low-cost, modified microcontroller-platform devices that discriminate insect-produced feeding and movement vibrations from background noise in field studies.Hermetic storage is of interest to farmers and warehouse managers as a method to control insect pests in small storage facilities.