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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Lavandero, Blas
item Wratten, Steve
item Hagler, James
item Jervis, Mark

Submitted to: Complete Book
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2004
Publication Date: 12/1/2004
Citation: Lavandero, B., Wratten, S., Hagler, J.R., Jervis, M. 2004. The need for effective marking and tracking techniques for monitoring the movements of insect predators and parasitoids. Book, Taylor and Francis, Abingdon.

Interpretive Summary: Information on natural enemy movements, spatial distribution patterns and density can be acquired through the application of marking and tracking techniques. The purpose of this special issue is to review the 'state-of-play' regarding research into such techniques, particularly with respect to conservation biological control, although it will be shown that such research can also significantly inform classical biological control programs. As will also be evident, the development of marking and tracking techniques is gaining considerable momentum due to recent technological advances, although some techniques based on 'old' technologies remain invaluable. Irrespective of its basis, any technique should, as a key requirement, be easy to use, cost-effective, environmentally safe, and persist under different environmental conditions without affecting the insects' behavior.

Technical Abstract: Predators and parasitoids move through the landscape at a wide range of rates and over a broad range of spatial scales. Understanding the dispersal characteristics of such 'beneficials' is of crucial importance for classical, augmentative, inundative and conservation biological control. It is a key practice, following the release of 'classical' (exotic) and augmentative (indigenous) biological control agents, to assess whether they have become successfully established, and also to what extent the agent has spread from the release points. It is important in conservation biological control to understand the role that natural enemy movements play in the improvement of pest control achieved through the provision of pollen, nectar, shelter and/or alternative prey/hosts. Other aspects of predator and parasitoid movement pertinent to biological control are the role refugia play in influencing, via natural enemy movements, control of pest population numbers. In these areas and others, some form of marking and/or tracking of insect predators and parasitoids is usually required so that movements can be studied. This special issue considers the usefulness and limitations of marking and tracking techniques, through up-to-date reviews written by an international team of researchers who are actively involved in the study of predator and parasitoid ecology.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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