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New Zealand Plant Protection 64 (2011): 293

Seasonal sex ratio of Bactericera cockerelli in potato and tomato crops in Hawke's Bay and Canterbury

N.M. Taylor, N. Jorgensen, N.A. Berry and R.C. Butler


Since its discovery in New Zealand in 2006 the tomato/potato psyllid (TPP), Bactericera cockerelli (Sulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), has been regarded as a significant pest of solanaceous crops in the horticultural industry. To date there is little knowledge of the population dynamics of male and female TPP in the field. An understanding of these dynamics will aid in the potential use of traps as pest management tools. During the 2010-11 growing season, weekly yellow sticky trap catches were used to assess the male:female sex ratio of TPP in a total of nine tomato and potato crops in Hawke's Bay and mid Canterbury. More male TPP were caught on traps at all nine sites throughout the season. Furthermore the TPP male:female ratio was highest early in the season. This male-biased dominance may suggest several things: an uneven proportion of males compared with females in the population, that male TPP are more attracted to the hue of yellow than females, an increased activity by males as a consequence of mate-searching behaviour and/or a decrease in activity by egg-laying females.

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