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New applied paper on vibrational communication

To: "" <>
Subject: New applied paper on vibrational communication
From: Jernej Polajnar <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2016 13:35:04 +0000
Dear colleagues,

our new paper on mating disruption of an insect pest using vibrational 
noise has just been published. We believe that the approach holds a lot 
of promise, and it's significant also because it shows that it's 
possible to develop innovative pest control methods using basic 
knowledge about animal acoustics. Details below, please write me or the 
senior author for reprints if you do not have access.

Mating disruption of a grapevine pest using mechanical vibrations: from 
laboratory to the field

Jernej Polajnar, Anna Eriksson, Meta Virant-Doberlet, Valerio Mazzoni
Journal of Pest Science, pp 1-13 (online first, 2016-01-09)
DOI 10.1007/s10340-015-0726-3 

Mating disruption using mechanical vibrations is a novel idea for 
integrated pest management of insect pests. We present results of 
research on using artificial vibrational noise to prevent mate 
recognition and localization mediated by vibrational signals in the 
grapevine pest Scaphoideus titanus. Building on the proof of concept 
published previously, mating trials were set up in laboratory to 
determine the amplitude threshold for playback efficacy and reveal the 
mechanism of its function, while field trials were performed to validate 
this threshold and explore the possibility of reducing energy use by 
exploiting the diel pattern of this species’ mating activity. The 
threshold obtained in laboratory trials—15 μm/s peak amplitude—was 
confirmed by measurements of attenuation and insect mating in field 
cages at successive distances from the source. We also discovered that 
shutting off the disruptive noise between 1000 and 1800 h did not reduce 
efficacy of the method in the field, allowing energy saving in this 
period. The noise had an all-or-nothing effect on S. titanus mating 
behaviour, and we were unable to ascertain the exact mechanism of the 
communication breakdown, but the approach appears robust enough to merit 
large-scale testing in the future.
Keywords: Scaphoideus titanus, Integrated pest management, Vibrational 
noise, Mating disruption, Hemiptera, Vineyard

Best regards,


Jernej Polajnar, PhD
Oddelek za raziskovanje organizmov in ekosistemov / Department of organisms and 
ecosystems research
Nacionalni inštitut za biologijo / National institute of biology
Vecna pot 111
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Tel.: +386 (0)59 232 780
Fax:  +386 (0)1 2412 980
Skype: jpolajnar

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