In the presence of red light, cucumber and possibly other host plants lose their attractability to the melon thrips Thrips palmi (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)
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The melon thrips, Thrips palmi Karny (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), is a serious agricultural pest of many crops. Previous studies have shown that red light decreases the number of Thrips palmi in greenhouses. In order to understand how red light affects T. palmi, we examined the behavioral responses to host plants that were irradiated with a red light-emitting diode panel (660 nm) in an environment with natural or fluorescent (normal-white) light. When T. palmi were allowed to move freely around in the experimental arena, we found that fewer individuals were attracted to plants irradiated by red light than to plants under normal light illumination. We then used a sticky trap of green coloration to exclude olfactory and visual stimuli associated with the host plants in order to test binary choice behavior in T. palmi. The number of thrips attracted to the green sticky trap irradiated with red light was approximately half of that without red light irradiation. This is the first study to show that an addition of red light can change the behavior of insects, leading to an avoidance of green targets in an environment of normal illumination.
KeywordsRed light Additional irradiation Pest control Thysanoptera Light-emitting diode (LED)
We express our sincere thanks to Eiji Yano (Kindai University, Japan), Ryusuke Ishikawa and Makoto Doi (Shizuoka Prefecture Research Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, Japan), and Manabu Shibao and Kanako Shirotsuka (Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Osaka Prefecture, Japan) for their technical advice. We wish to express our thanks to Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow for helpful linguistic suggestions and scientific comments on the manuscript. We thank Takayuki Mitsunaga (Central Region Agricultural Research Center, NARO) and Katsuyuki Kohno (NIVFS) for their advice about statistical analyses, and Tamotsu Murai (Ustunomiya University, Japan) for providing the T. palmi population. We also thank Hisayoshi Maruyama and Mitsuko Okamoto (NIVFS) for their technical assistance during this study. We are very grateful to anonymous reviewers for helpful and constructive comments. This work was supported by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), “Technologies for creating next-generation agriculture, forestry and fishers” (funding agency: Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, NARO).
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