Diurnal Patterns of Flight Activity and Effects of Light on Host Finding Behavior of the Asian Citrus Psyllid Academic Article uri icon


  • The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), is an invasive pest of citrus in the United States. The psyllid feeds and reproduces primarily on new flush growth of citrus and other rutaceous plants. Because it vectors the bacterial causal agents of the deadly citrus greening disease, D. citri is potentially a pest of economic importance in all citrus growing areas where it occurs together with the disease. We investigated the diurnal patterns of its flight activity in the field and the effects of light on its host selection and egg laying behaviors. The numbers of adult psyllids caught on yellow sticky traps were 3 to 4-fold higher during daytime than nighttime. Daytime flight activity of D. citri adults also varied with time of the day with peak catches occurring at midday from 1200 to 1500 h. Illumination of the traps at night increased their attractiveness to adult psyllids by 5-fold. Similarly, light significantly increased plant colonization by adults and female egg deposition on potted plants in the laboratory. These results showed that the flight activity and host selection behavior of adult psyllids are regulated by light and circadian rhythms. Thus, adult psyllids utilize light as visual cues in their host-plant selection process. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Insect Behavior

altmetric score

  • 4.05

author list (cited authors)

  • Stamou, M., Sanchez, A., Patt, J. M., Nelson, S. D., Jifon, J., & Louzada, E. S.

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • S├ętamou, Mamoudou||Sanchez, Adrian||Patt, Joseph M||Nelson, Shad D||Jifon, John||Louzada, Eliezer S

publication date

  • May 2012