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Differential responses of three Agriotes click beetle species to pheromone traps

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1 Previous work had suggested that adult male click beetles (Agriotes spp.) show differential responses to species specific pheromone traps. This hypothesis was tested using mark–release–recapture methods to estimate the maximum sampling range and the effective sampling area of traps for three species.

2 Captured beetles of the species Agriotes lineatus, Agriotes obscurus and Agriotes sputator were marked to show the direction of release, the distance of the release point from the trap and the replicate. Analysis of variance showed that there were significant differences in recapture rates between species and release distances. There were no significant differences between release direction and replicates.

3 Calculated linear speeds suggested differences in movement rates in the order: A. lineatus > A. obscurus > A. sputator. There were also substantial differences between the species in the maximum sampling ranges and effective sampling areas of the traps. These placed the species in the same order.

4 The results are used to estimate the minimum cost of mass trapping programmes to prevent males from mating, giving values of €165/ha/year (A. lineatus), €247.5/ha/year (A. obscurus) and €2343/ha/year (A. sputator).

5 Implications for the use of pheromone traps in wireworm pest management are discussed. It is concluded that current U.K. recommendations based on the cumulative total catch of the three species over a sampling season can be improved by considering the spatial relationships between the adult trapping system and larval distribution. The current constraint to this is the general inability to separate wireworms into species.
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Keywords: Agriotes; Coleoptera; Elateridae; click beetles; mark–release–recapture; pheromone traps; wireworms

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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