Assessment of behaviourial characteristics of Poophilus nebulosus Leth

Document Type : Research Article


College of Agriculture Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


This study was mainly conducted due to importance of plant manna and their production process regarding pharmaceutical use. Therefore, the behaviourial characteristics of Spittlebug Poophilus nebulosus Leth on Alhagi persarum Boiss & Buhse Camel thron plant in Torbate Jam region, Khorasan Razavi state were assessed during 2006 and 2007. The bug’s discharge after feeding on the camel thorn plant is hedysarum which is a sweet liquid with pharmaceutical effects. In European references, this manna is referred to as the ‘persian manna’. In this study we found out that the bug has 5 instars and 3 generations per year. The first generation activity starts from the (late April) and the instars make a great amount of foam at the bottom section of the plant while they live inside the foam. The adult bug appears in late April and moves out of the foam, creates a non-sweet and non-crystallized discharge which dries out as a white powder on the plant. The second generation which appears in mid June are different from the first generation regarding the behaviourial issue as they have an independent life, are resilient and enormously active, stay at the browse of the plant and do not create any foam. 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 bug lays the eggs underneath the skin of the stem. The spittlebugs in Torbate-Jam region prefer the plants which are less damaged according to exploitation of hedysarum. There is evidence that the bug was not capable of foam production on the browse of the camel thorn plants and the process was ceased after a short period of time. We also found out about the rapid reproduction of foam by the instars after long-term spring rain and foam clean up from the plant.

Key words :Poophilus nebulosus (spittlebug),Alhagi persarum (camelthorn) ,Taranjabin –manna, behaviourial characterisitics