The glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis, is a generalist insect and a major pest of grapevines. GWSS is a vector of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, causal agent of Pierce’s disease that can lead to grapevine death within few years after infection. This chapter discusses the problem and current GWSS control methods. Then, the focus changes to efforts in developing a novel control method that uses synthetic vibrational signals to disrupt mating and, thus, population growth. A step-by-step method for creating effective playback signals is described and discussed. The method was termed “D.I.E.,” which stands for Describe, Identify, and Execute. The first step is to describe the basic biology of the insect pest with emphasis on communication behaviors. From there, one can begin identifying which candidate signals disrupt communication. Finally, execution tests are conducted to determine which signals effectively disrupt mating in laboratory, and more importantly, in the field. While there are still steps needed for large-scale implementation in the field, the basic biological questions related to whether synthetic vibrational signals can disrupt mating are answered affirmatively. The next direction will be to develop a mechanism of signal transmission across large areas. In addition, season long field trials are needed, taking into consideration natural insect movements into and out of treated areas.
Gordon S.D., Krugner R. 2020. Mating Disruption by Vibrational Signals: Applications for Management of the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter. In: Hill P., Lakes-Harlan R., Mazzoni V., Narins P., Virant-Doberlet M., Wessel A. (eds) Biotremology: Studying Vibrational Behavior. Animal Signals and Communication, vol 6. Springer, Cham. P. 355-373.