Byers, J.A. 2012. Estimating insect flight densities from attractive trap catches and flight height
distributions. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38:592-601.
Methods and equations have not been developed
previously to estimate insect flight densities, a key factor in
decisions regarding trap and lure deployment in programs of
monitoring, mass trapping, and mating disruption with
semiochemicals. An equation to estimate densities of flying
insects per hectare is presented that uses the standard deviation
(SD) of the vertical flight distribution, trapping time,
the trapís spherical effective radius (ER), catch at the mean
flight height (as estimated from a best-fitting normal distribution
with SD), and an estimated average flight speed.
Data from previous reports were used to estimate flight
densities with the equations. The same equations can use
traps with pheromone lures or attractive colors with a measured
effective attraction radius (EAR) instead of the ER. In
practice, EAR is more useful than ER for flight density
calculations since attractive traps catch higher numbers of
insects and thus can measure lower populations more readily.
Computer simulations in three dimensions with varying
numbers of insects (density) and varying EAR were used to
validate the equations for density estimates of insects in the
field. Few studies have provided data to obtain EAR, SD,
speed, and trapping time to estimate flight densities per hectare.
However, the necessary parameters can be measured more
precisely in future studies.