New “Singing” Psyllid Species Found in Taiwan
A new species of psyllid has been found in Taiwan and is described in an article in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. The new species belongs to the genus Trioza, which comprises more than 400 species worldwide.
Trioza acuminatissima feeds on its host plant, Neolitsea acuminatissima (family: Lauraceae), in the larval stage. However, in the adult stage it also feeds on nonhost plants.
It exists in the understory of forests at 1,000-2,000 meters above sea level, and the larvae are known to induce individual pit galls in their host plant.
Like other psylloids, Trioza acuminatissima uses acoustic signals to find mates, with males and females performing acoustic duets to confirm choice before mating. The acoustic signals consist of simple chirps, and are accompanied by rapid wing vibrations.
Interestingly, the authors found that the duration of the chirps depended on what type of plant the adults inhabited.
“Psylloids produce shorter acoustic signals when they are on a nonhost plant,” the authors wrote. “However, this phenomenon does not influence their mating behavior.”
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