Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (2): 227-232, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.032

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

Anne NISSINEN1,2, Lina KRISTOFFERSEN3, Olle ANDERBRANT3
1 MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Protection, FI-31600 Jokioinen, Finland; e-mail: anne.nissinen@mtt.fi
2 Department of Environmental Science, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
3 Pheromone Group, Chemical Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Department of Ecology, Lund University, SGlveg. 37, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden

We have studied the effect of different light gradient regimes on host-plant selection of the carrot psyllid, Trioza apicalis Förster. 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.

Keywords: Triozidae, Trioza apicalis, host-plant selection, Daucus carota, Picea abies, light intensity, light gradient, host preference, behaviour, physiological state

Received: November 7, 2007; Accepted: February 8, 2008; Published: May 15, 2008

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