Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2005
Publication Date: 4/16/2005
Citation: Brazee, R.D., Miller, E.S., Reding, M.E., Klein, M.G., Zhu, H., Nudd, B.E. 2005. A Transponder for Harmonic Radar Tracking of the Black Vine Weevil in Behavioral Research. Transactions of the ASAE. 48(2):831-838. Interpretive Summary: The black vine weevil (BVW) is a major economic insect pest for growers of ornamental nursery crops and small fruits. Development of control measures through research and by growers is hampered by a lack of information on movement of BVW within cropping environments. Insects have been tracked using tag-and-release methods, but the BVW is active mainly at night, making it difficult to relocate. A miniature transponder, or reflector tag, was developed for mounting on the insect to facilitate relocation using an harmonic radar detector. A radar signal transmitted from the detector is received by a small antenna and drives the transponder. The transponder is basically a microwave device that returns a locator signal to the detector at twice the frequency of the incoming signal, avoiding false detection by reflection of the original signal. The transponder is flexible and lightweight, weighing about 27% of the BVW body weight. In field trials, insects were successfully released, relocated and recovered after several days. With this unique technique, the insect dispersal behavior could be easily tracked. Growers could rely on the information to precisely apply pesticide in the target areas to obtain high application efficiency and minimize pesticide use.
Technical Abstract: The black vine weevil (BVW), Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Fabricius), is a major economic insect pest for growers of ornamental nursery crops and small fruits. Development of management strategies by entomologists and growers has been hampered by a lack of behavioral information on movement of BVW within agroecosystems. Although insects can be racked using tag-and-release methods, the BVW is active primarily at night, cannot fly, and can be difficult to relocate. Harmonic radar technology has been used in entomological research and was investigated for applicability to the BVW problem. An insect-mounted, miniature transponder was developed to facilitate location in conjunction with a commercially available harmonic radar transceiver detector. The transponder powered by a 0.917 GHz signal from the detector, when detected returns a 1.834 GHz signal to the detector. The transponder consists of a Schottky barrier diode with an inductively loaded monopole antenna and is lightweight at about 27% of a BVW body mass. In field trials, insects were successfully released, relocated and recovered after several days.