In the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama), learning facilitates host recognition and mate preference; however, it is unclear whether induced female oviposition preference occurs in this species. We investigated the influence of natal host experience on adult oviposition preference when reared on either ‘Valencia’ orange (Citrus x sinesis) or orange jasmine (Murraya paniculata). Psyllids reared on ‘Valencia’ orange preferred ‘Valencia’ orange as an oviposition host compared with orange jasmine, whereas there was no difference in oviposition between the two hosts in orange jasmine reared psyllids. Nymphs transferred from ‘Valencia’ orange to orange jasmine were smaller in adult size and required more time for development. These findings were reversed in orange jasmine reared psyllids, which increased in size and displayed shorter development times when transferred from orange jasmine to ‘Valencia’ orange. However, mortality increased in nymphs transferred to the non-natal host species in both treatment groups compared with nymphs transferred to the same host. These results indicate an association between host plant preference and performance in this species. Maternal host experience appeared to influence the oviposition preference in this species. Juvenile psyllid performance appeared negatively affected by orange jasmine plants such that fitness was reduced, suggesting benefits for maternal host fidelity in those insects not acclimated to feeding on orange jasmine. Induced oviposition preference may provide an important mechanism of adaptive plasticity in D. citri reproductive strategies, allowing females to discriminate among potential host species in favor of those to which her offspring are best adapted.
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Vol. 46 • No. 5