The abundance and spatial dispersion of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) were studied in 34 grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macfad.) and six sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] orchards from March to August 2006 when the pest is more abundant in southern Texas. Although flush shoot infestation levels did not vary with host plant species, densities of D. citri eggs, nymphs, and adults were significantly higher on sweet orange than on grapefruit. D. citri immatures also were found in significantly higher numbers in the southeastern quadrant of trees than other parts of the canopy. The spatial distribution of D. citri nymphs and adults was analyzed using Iowa’s patchiness regression and Taylor’s power law. Taylor’s power law fitted the data better than Iowa’s model. Based on both regression models, the field dispersion patterns of D. citri nymphs and adults were aggregated among flush shoots in individual trees as indicated by the regression slopes that were significantly >1. For the average density of each life stage obtained during our surveys, the minimum number of flush shoots per tree needed to estimate D. citri densities varied from eight for eggs to four flush shoots for adults. Projections indicated that a sampling plan consisting of 10 trees and eight flush shoots per tree would provide density estimates of the three developmental stages of D. citri acceptable enough for population studies and management decisions. A presence–absence sampling plan with a fixed precision level was developed and can be used to provide a quick estimation of D. citri populations in citrus orchards.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4