Physiological state of female and light intensity affect the host-plant selection of carrot psyllid, Trioza apicalis (Hemiptera : Triozidae)

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Abstract

We have studied the effect of different light gradient regimes on host-plant selection of the carrot psyllid, Trioza apicalis Forster. In both a strong and a weak light gradient, carrot psyllids preferred a carrot leaf placed in higher light intensity. When the choice was between the host (carrot Daucus carota L.) and a non-host (barley Hordeum vulgare L.) virgin adults settled significantly more often on non-host in higher light intensity than on carrot in lower light intensity. In a weak light gradient, none of the gravid females settled on a non-host. In an experiment without light gradient, gravid females showed a preference for carrot, whereas virgin females settled approximately equally on Norway spruce Picea abies Karst. (winter shelter plant) and carrot. Our results show that virgin and gravid individuals have different host-plant selection behaviour, and that they are sensitive to small differences in light intensity. Both factors can create a source of variation in behavioural assays, and should be taken into consideration in future experiments with this and probably also related species. Our results suggest that carrot psyllids can utilize visual cues (light intensity or wavelength) in host-plant selection, and the role of visual cues should be more thoroughly studied.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
  • Zoology

Keywords

  • host-plant selection, Daucus carota, Picea, abies, light intensity, host preference, light gradient, behaviour, physiological state, Trioza apicalis, triozidae
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-232
JournalEuropean Journal of Entomology
Volume105
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes