Research progress is reported on an artificial diet for adult Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). The primary objective was to develop a system for screening antimicrobial peptides and other potential toxic proteins for activity against adults. The base diet was a sterilized solution of sucrose (30%) and yellow-green food coloring (0.5%) in tap water. All of the studies presented were conducted at 25°C, 75% RH, and a photoperiod of 14:10 (L:D) h. Adult psyllids were <7 d old when they were transferred to diet. Addition of the food coloring was necessary to prompt adults to feed. Among the feeding trials discussed, a mean of 69.1 ± 3.2% adults survived for 14 d on the base sucrose diet. Survival rates of males and females were similar. Adults feeding on the sucrose diet may have ingested less food than adults feeding on citrus leaf disks based on differences in quantities of adult excrements deposited in feeding chambers. However, survival of adults feeding on leaf disks over a 2-wk period was only marginally better than survival of adults feeding on the base sucrose diet, and final rates of survival of adults fed these two food sources were not significantly different.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4