D0206 Age determination of the glassy-winged sharpshooter using the red pigment in the wings

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Hall D, First Floor (Convention Center)
Chris Timmons , Biology, University of Texas-Tyler, Tyler, TX
The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis, has a red pigment that is found in its wings during the final immature stage of its life. Over the course of the sharpshooter's lifespan, the red pigment darkens with maturation and eventually becomes a brown/black color. These pigments are unidentified but believed to be pheomelanin and eumelanin, respectively. The age of the sharpshooter can be determined by analyzing the amount of red pigment found in the wings. In this study, we attempted to identify the red pigment and quantify the amount of red pigment contained in wings via chemical analysis, Ultimately, we found that it was more practical to determine the amount of red pigment compared to brown/black pigment using an image software (ImageJ) to compare the ratios of each color present.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.45129