Fang Huang, Feifei Wang, Yaobin Lu, Pengjun Zhang, Jinming Zhang, Zhijun Zhang, Weidi Li, Wencai Lin, Yawei Bei
Journal of Insect Science 14 (1), 1-9, (1 January 2014) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.014.01
KEYWORDS: artificial membrane, cotton mealybug, electrical penetration graph technique, invasive pest, starvation
The current study examined the effects of honey solution and water access on feeding behavior and survival of starving solenopsis mealybugs, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). The electrical penetration graph technique and an artificial membrane system were used to check whether P. solenopsis could imbibe free water or other liquid, such as the honey solution used here, in its natural environment. The recorded electrical penetration graph waveforms revealed that P. solenopsis could continuously imbibe water-honey solution for several hours, which indicated that honey solution and water acquisition could possibly occur when P. solenopsis had access to such liquids in its natural environment. Waveforms of water-honey solution feeding alternated between two distinct feeding phases in a regular pattern, which was assumed to reflect inherent habits of feeding attempts. The effects of honey solution and water acquisition on survival of P. solenopsis was also examined. Comparison between P. solenopsis in different treatments (starved, water feeding, honey solution feeding, and cotton plant feeding) suggested that 1) P. solenopsis could accept but did not favor feeding on water or the honey solution, and 2) this feeding could prolong its survival, but had no effect on body size.