Field monitoring of plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar, activity with motion-sensor cameras and system applications in general entomology

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Roger Duncan Selby , Entomology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Stuart H. Gage , Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Mark E. Whalon , Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Incorporating camera systems into insect traps potentially benefits insect phenology modeling, non-lethal insect monitoring, and research into the automated identification of traps counts.  To find a low-cost, uncomplicated option for incorporating cameras into traps, cameras created to monitor mammals were adapted to monitor the entrance to pyramid traps designed to capture the plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst).  Camera trap versions v.I and v.II were designed, replicated and tested alongside conventional pyramid traps in field conditions using released curculios, once in autumn 2010, and again at four sites in autumn 2012.  The traps were evaluated on the basis of battery power, ease-of-maintenance, adaptability, required-user-skills, cost (including labor cost), and accuracy-of-results.  For all criteria except the last, the v.II design fully surpassed expectations.  In terms of accuracy, over half of the traps recorded every curculio entering the traps during the eighteen day study period, and in the traps where some curculios were not recorded, over ninety percent of the missing photographs could be explained by temporary component failure or sustained arthropod interference with the motion sensor.  Significantly more curculios entered the camera traps between six in the evening and midnight.  When compared with conventional pyramid traps, the v.I traps collected a similar number of curculios.  The v.II traps collected almost significantly fewer curculios than the v.I trap, but collected almost significantly more photos per curculio.  The research demonstrates that low-cost, precise monitoring of field insect populations is feasible without requiring a high degree of technical expertise or maintenance.
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