Different host plant odours influence migration behaviour of Cacopsylla melanoneura (Förster), an insect vector of the apple proliferation phytoplasma
In recent years the hawthorn psyllid Cacopsylla melanoneura (Förster) has been identified as one of the insect vectors of the apple proliferation phytoplasma which causes major damages in apple cultivation. C. melanoneura is univoltine, spending only a short time of its life cycle on apple or hawthorn – during copulation, egg laying and nymphal development. The adults of the new generation migrate soon after emergence to coniferous trees and spend the largest part of their life there. After overwintering, the adults return to apple or hawthorn for reproduction, in early spring. In order to elucidate the migration behaviour and ecology of C. melanoneura, different populations were investigated in field, over a two year period. A detailed description of their life cycle, supplemented by timing and duration of their two migration phases and the involved host plants are presented. Further, hawthorn psyllids of different ages (newly hatched adults and overwintered adults) were investigated in a dynamic Y-olfactometer setup for their preferences towards the odours of different host plants. The behavioural response of the two tested ages of the psyllids corresponds with the two different phases of migratory behaviour in the field. While there was a strong positive response for apple or hawthorn odours in overwintered adults, there was none in freshly emerged adults of the next generation. In contrast, the newly emerged adults showed a strong response for spruce volatiles.
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