Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Assessment of color response and activity rhythms of the invasive black planthopper Ricania speculum (Walker, 1851) using sticky traps.

Abstract

To be effective, management strategies of invasive alien species cannot ignore their spatiotemporal behavior particularly those exerting serious damages to human activities. The black planthopper Ricania speculum is an Asian insect that has been reported as an alien invasive species in Italy, where it threatens local plant diversity, including important crops. In our work, we analyzed the activity rhythms of this species through circular statistics and the efficiency of chromotropic traps to capture adult individuals. Captures were carried out in central Italy, where the black planthopper is showing a remarkable range expansion, after its first discovery in 2009. We observed that the species was mainly crepuscular, with a high intersexual activity overlap. Activity rhythms changed between July-August and September-October, with changing heliophany, but peaked at sunset and were the lowest in the second half of the night and early morning. The insects were mostly caught by green traps, particularly in September, which is the period of egg-laying inside the leaves; conversely, orange ones were avoided, and yellow ones captured proportionally to their local availability. Strategies for controlling this species should consider concentrating trapping effort during the activity peak, using green sticky traps to enhance the capture success of each trap, with the lowest impact over non-target species.