Mark-Release of Sound-Attracted Mole Crickets: Flight Behavior and Implications for Control

Ngo Dong, Howard W. Beck


Between 9 April and 22 June 1980, 9347 Scapteriscus acletus Rehn and Hebard flying to 3 sound traps were captured, marked and released in 3 Bahiagrass pastures at Gainesville, Florida. Of these, 7% were recaptured at least once. Most recaptures (67%) were at the trapping site where last released, 25% were recaptured at sites 250 or 420 m away (i.e. in an adjacent pasture) and 8% were recaptured 650 m away (i.e. in a pasture at the opposite end). Approximately 75% of the recaptures occurred within 5 days of release. Maximum elapsed time between release and recapture was 58 days. Three individuals were captured 4 times, and one individual returned to the same sound trap 3 consecutive nights. The probability of recapture was not significantly different for individuals released during the early, middle and late portions of the study. Males were less likely to be recaptured than females (2% versus 8%); however, recaptured males were more likely to be recaptured yet again than were recaptured females (16% versus 8%). Recaptured individuals never constituted more than 16% of the weekly catch, suggesting that killing all captured crickets would have had little effect on subsequent captures--i.e. that mole cricket population as judged by sound trapping, are not substantially reduced by sound trapping. A significant peak in recaptures occurred ca. 10 days after release, corresponding to the cycle of female oviposition.

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