Xylella Fastidiosa Active Containment Through a multidisciplinary-Oriented Research Strategy

Vibrational communication and mating behavior of the meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius


Sabina Avosani, Elissa Daher, Pietro Franceschi, Marco Ciolli, Vincenzo Verrastro, and Valerio Mazzoni

21 September 2020

Vibrational communication and mating behavior of the meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumariusVibrational pest control techniques have been recently developed for several Hemiptera, suggesting that similar strategies could be applied to other species that emit vibrational signals. To evaluate the applicability of a control method for Philaenus spumarius, the vector of Xylella fastidiosa in olive orchards in Italy, we investigated its mating behavior and characterized the associated substrate-borne signals. The vibrational signals emitted by males and females were recorded with a laser vibrometer from the surface of a leaf. Male and female repertoires consisted each of three vibrational signals with distinct features. Pair formation begun with the calling signal of a receptive female and mating was accomplished when a vibrational duet was established and maintained until the male reached the female on the plant. Female calls and duets occurred only in trials conducted in September, while earlier in the season females emitted rejection signals to courting males. Intrasexual communication between males involved the emission of vibrational signals, whose role is still not clear. Playback trials with either a female or male calling signal elicited the emission of different vibrational signals by the tested males. Further experiments with playbacks are warranted to identify vibrational signals to be used for manipulating P. spumarius behavior and develop a future control method.

https://doi.org/10.1127/entomologia/2020/0983 | via Schweizerbart Science Publishers


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