Daily Timing of Mating and Age at Reproductive Maturity in Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae)

Erik J. Wenninger, David G. Hall


The psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama vectors a bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, in Florida which is responsible for citrus greening disease (huanglongbing), one of the most serious diseases of citrus. Despite the great economic importance of D. citri to citrus production, little is known about the reproductive biology and behavior of this insect. We conducted studies to determine the copula duration, the age at which both males and females reach reproductive maturity, the pre-oviposition period, the daily timing of mating activity in a laboratory colony, and the temporal dynamics in the sex ratio of a cohort of newly eclosed adults. The emergence patterns of males and females were strikingly similar, with no evidence for protandry or protogyny. Both sexes reached reproductive maturity by 2-3 d post-eclosion. Oviposition generally began within 1 d after mating, but was longer when females were mated at 2 d of age. Mean ± SEM copula duration was 48.3 ± 8.4 minutes (range: 15.2-98.0). Mating on orange jasmine was observed almost exclusively on flush shoots during daylight hours, with no obvious peak of daily mating activity. Mating activity may be constrained during scotophase in part by cooler temperatures and lack of light. Methods for carrying out mating experiments with this species are described.

View this article in BioOne

Full Text: