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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 #380089

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Management of Native and Invasive Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Subterranean arthropod biotremology:Ecological and economic contexts

item Mankin, Richard

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2020
Publication Date: 5/25/2022
Citation: Mankin, R.W. 2022. Subterranean arthropod biotremology: ecological and economic contexts. In: Hill, P.S.M., Mazzoni, V., Stritih-Peljhan, N. Virant-Doberlet, M., and Wessel, A. (eds). Biotremology: Physiology, Ecology, and Evolution. Animal Signals and Communication. Springer Nature. Cham, Switzerland. p.511-527.

Interpretive Summary: Plant feeding by subterranean pest insects can lead to considerable economic damage to a crop. Discovery of infestations has relied primarily on the detection of sounds produced by their herbivory. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, monitored sounds produced by underground pest insects to help develop protocols to time the delivery of control treatments. The studies required the assessment of fundamental underground insect behavior as well as monitoring intra- and interspecific vibrational communication to facilitate localization of clumped pest distributions. The studies successfully identified the presence of subterranean infestations particularly for the coleopteran larval pests such as white grubs and the Diaprepes root weevil, as well as the lepidopteran larval grape root borer pest insects. The limited computer and sensor systems available to detect and monitor these pests has led to efforts to decrease the cost of monitoring equipment so that sound detection can be used to provide successful control infestations of these pest insects.

Technical Abstract: Subterranean arthropods would be ideal candidates for biotremological studies except that soil is a heterogeneous mixture of porous and solid materials with poorly characterized mechanical properties, which makes such studies difficult in situ. However, increased awareness of the impacts of subterranean arthropod herbivory on above-ground biota and the rapid development of modern electronic sensors and computer systems have encouraged efforts to conduct subterranean arthropod biotremological studies in recent years. In addition, impetus to address economic damage caused by subterranean arthropod pests has prompted multiple studies on the intra- and interspecific vibrational communication and incidental movement activities of subterranean pests. Many of these studies have been conducted on subterranean Cicadoidean, Ensiferan, Scarabaeoid and Curculionid species that are a focus of this chapter. Studies on Lepidoptera, social insects, and Araneae also are discussed here in economic and ecological context, particularly with respect to multimodal communication.