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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #127980


item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Proceedings of North American Root Weevil Workshop
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2001
Publication Date: 10/1/2005
Citation: Mankin, R.W., Fisher, J.R. 2005. Acoustic detection of Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) larval infestations in nursery containers. In: 2001 Proceedings of North American Root Weevil Workshop, November 1-2, 2001. p. 14-19

Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, and the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR have cooperated in testing the efficacy of portable acoustic technology to detect hidden infestations of Black Vine Weevil in container-grown nursery crops. Larval infestations of this economically important pest need to be detected in the late summer and fall, when temperatures are warm enough for control measures to be effective. Effective curative treatments based on timely detection would reduce the risk of rejection of infested plants and increase the value of nursery plants to consumers. In this study, we used a portable acoustic system adapted for entomological applications to successfully detect natural infestations of black vine weevil larvae in plants in a nursery greenhouse and a research laboratory during mid- November 1999. The success of these tests stimulated additional efforts now in progress to develop robust, user-friendly instrumentation for use in commercial nurseries.

Technical Abstract: Acoustic detection systems have been developed to locate and target hidden infestations of root weevil larvae in container-grown nursery crops. Tests were conducted in laboratory and field environments with natural and artificial infestations of Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Fabricius) in containers with different nursery plants to determine whether the larvae were large enough for acoustic detection during late fall when scouting for infestation often occurs at commercial nurseries in Oregon. The rootballs of tested plants were examined to verify the presence or absence of larvae. All of the containers rated at high likelihood of infestation contained O. sulcatus larvae (29% of those tested). No larvae were found in any containers rated at low likelihood of infestation (20%). Sporadic sounds were detected, but failed to exhibit periodicity suggestive of infestation in 51% of the containers (rated at medium likelihood). Fifty seven percent of these were infested. Experience with the use of the acoustic system in field environments suggested improvements in user-friendliness and robustness that could improve its utility for early detection and targeting applications in commercial nurseries.