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Spatial Dispersion Patterns and Sequential Sampling Plans for Squash Bugs (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in Summer Squash

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Squash bugs, Anasa tristis (De Geer), were intensively sampled in summer squash plots from three locations in Oklahoma in the spring and summer of 1987 and 1988. Data collected from whole-plant samples for adults, egg masses, and nymphs were fitted to the Poisson, negative binomial, and positive binomial frequency distributions, as well as Taylor's power function and Iwao's patchiness regression. None of the three theoretical distributions fit the squash bug populations on all sample occasions. Taylor's power law provided a better fit to the count data than did Iwao's patchiness regression. All life stages exhibited aggregated patterns of spatial dispersion; small nymphs exhibited the largest degree of aggregation, followed by large nymphs, adults, and egg masses. Sequential sampling plans for squash bugs were developed using estimated variance-mean relationships derived from Taylor's power function. Because small nymphs were highly aggregated, greater numbers of plant samples were required to estimate population means of nymphs with specified levels of precision than were needed for adults or egg masses. Validation with Monte Carlo simulations indicated that these procedures may not always estimate mean population density at specified levels of precision.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1991

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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