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Assessment of Behaviourial Characteristics of <I>Poophilus nebulosus</I> Leth Spittlebug on <I>Alhagi persarum</I> Boiss and Buhse Camel Thorn Plant in Torbate Jam Region, Khorasan Razavi Province

Author(s): F. Yaghmaee

Journal: Research Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1815-8846

Volume: 3;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 807;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Poophilus nebulosus (spittlebug) | Alhagi persarum (camel thorn) | Taranjabin-manna | behavioural characteristics

This study was mainly conducted due to importance of plant manna and their production process regarding pharmaceutical use. Therefore, the behavioural characteristics of Poophilus nebulosus Leth spittlebug on Alhagi persarum Boiss and Buhse camel thron plant in Torbate Jam region, Khorasan Razavi province were assessed during 2006-07. Hedysarum or Taranjabin manna is a sweet liquid with pharmaceutical effects and it is exhausted by the spittlebugs after they nourish on the camel thorn plant. In European references, this manna is referred to as the `persian manna`. In this study we found out that the spittlebug has 5 nymphal instars and 3 generation per annum. The first generation`s activity starts from early April and the instars make a great deal of spittle at the bottom section of the plant while they reside inside the foam. The adult spittlebug appears in late April and moves out of the foam, creates a non-sweet and non-crystallized fluid which dries out as a white powder on the plant. The second generation which appears in mid June is behaviorally different from the first generation as they have an independent life, are resilient and enormously active, stay at the browse of the plant and do not create any spittle. The first hedysarum manna crystals are produced by this generation in late June. The activity of the third generation is similar to the second. Hedysarum manna production continues as mentioned until the end of autumn. By the end of autumn the female spittlebug lays the eggs underneath the skin of the stem. The spittlebugs in Torbate-Jam region prefer the plants which are less damaged due to exploitation of hedysarum. In this study we realized that this spittlebug is also able to hibernate as an adult insect. There is evidence that the bug was not capable of spittle production on the cut browse of the camel thorn plants and the process was ceased after a short period of time. We also found out about the rapid re-production of foam by the nymph instars after long-term spring rain when the plants were completely rinsed off.
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