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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 #380581

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Management of Native and Invasive Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Responses of Asian Citrus Psyllids to substrate-borne vibrational communication signals

item Mankin, Richard
item ROHDE, B - University Of Florida
item HEATHERINGTON, E - Oregon State University
item MCNEIL, S - Former ARS Employee

Submitted to: Journal of Citrus Pathology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2014
Publication Date: 1/10/2014
Citation: Mankin, R.W., Rohde, B., Heatherington, E., Mcneil, S. 2014. Responses of Asian Citrus Psyllids to substrate-borne vibrational communication signals. Journal of Citrus Pathology. 1:136-138.

Interpretive Summary: Huanglongbing disease is severely damaging citrus trees throughout the U.S. and is vectored between trees by the invasive insect pest the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Improved acoustical methods to detect population levels and disrupt mating of the Asian citrus psyllid are critical strategies to control the spread of ACP and the disease. Researchers at USDA ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with scientist at Oregon State University and the University of Florida have provided a presentation that describes laboratory and field studies that enable trapping of males and disruption of mating. Male ACP produce patterns of vibrations that are carried along the leaves, twigs, and branches of citrus trees, and receptive females reply so that the males can search, find and mate with them. Acoustic monitors have been developed that sense the mating vibrations for detection or that produce mimic vibrations to disrupt mating. The presentation also presents the progress to reduce costs and increase mating disruption effectiveness to help control this devastating pest insect.

Technical Abstract: The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, vectors a harmful bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which causes huanglongbing, an economically devastating disease of citrus. Improved methods for detection and trapping of ACP could significantly reduce the damage associated with the spread of this disease. One previously unexploited method of detection involves the vibratory, substrate-borne signals by which adult male and female ACP communicate over 10-50-cm distances within their citrus tree hosts. Mate-seeking males begin calling while moving along the tree branches, searching for females. A receptive female replies to these signals within about 0.5-s, which helps the male to find her position (Wenninger et al. 2009,Rohde et al. 2013). A series of studies was conducted in a noise- and vibration-shielded anechoic chamber (Fig. 1) to manipulate these communications in a way that could be used to attract and trap ACP males in field environments. Male recorded calls were played back to females through the vibration exciter and the replies were monitored with the accelerometer. The frequencies,durations, and loudness of calls that elicited the greatest female response were analyzed for further study. In addition, recorded replies from females were played back to males, attracting them to the signal source. Based on the successful results with the laboratory accelerometer and vibration exciter systems (Rohde et al. 2013), we began development of a portable, automated system with a piezoelectric vibratory element that replies to male calls immediately after they are detected by a microphone attached to a small, inexpensive microcomputer. Searching males move towards the source of such calls (Fig. 2) and can thereby be trapped. To facilitate trap development, we have begun testing the relative attractiveness of carefully constructed synthetic calls, some of which are described in (Rohde et al. 2013). In addition, we are beginning to conduct field studies under conditions of moderate background noise.