Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/21/2003
Publication Date: 12/1/2003
Citation: Zhang, M., Crocker, R.L., Mankin, R.W., Flanders, K.L., Brandhorst-Hubbard, J.L. 2003. Acoustic estimation of infestations and population densities of white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in turfgrass. Journal of Economic Entomology. 2003. v. 96. p. 1770-1779. Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center, Dallas, TX, the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, and the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, have cooperated in acoustic studies to detect destructive turf pests in field environments. A sensor array was developed that reliably counts the numbers of white grubs in an area of soil. The study demonstrated the feasibility of using acoustic detection tools by researchers and pest managers for monitoring population densities of turf pests in fields and golf course.
Technical Abstract: Incidental sounds produced by Phyllophaga and Cyclocephala (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) grubs were acoustically monitored in turf fields and golf course fairways. A one-sensor acoustic system was used to assess the likelihood of infestation and a four-sensor array was used to facilitate localization and counting of individual grubs. The range of detection of grubs by the acoustic sensors was measured in a greenhouse as approximately a 26.5-cm-dia. cylinder (0.0552 m2). Grub population densities were acoustically estimated by dividing the estimated numbers of grubs by the area of the detection range. Population densities were also estimated by collecting soil cores using a golf cup-cutter. Both acoustic and cup-cutter assessments of infestation and estimates of grub population densities were verified by excavation and sifting of the soil in the detection range. The single-sensor acoustic method was more successful in predicting infestation at a recording site than the cup-cutter method, possibly because the acoustic detection range was larger than the cup-cutter dimensions. The four-sensor array successfully counted the numbers of white grubs in the detection range, enabling reliable, nondestructive estimation of grub population densities, but tests with the array took longer and were more difficult to carry out than tests with the single sensor.