Symposium on Agroacoustics: Acoustic Traps for Agriculturally Important Insects

Thomas J. Walker


Development of sound-baited traps for insects has lagged behind that of light- and chemical-baited traps. The principal successes for acoustic traps have been with mole crickets (Gryllotalpidae), field crickets (Gryllidae), and ormiine flies (Tachinidae). The crickets are attracted to the conspecific calling song and the flies to the calling songs of their hosts. Electronic sound synthesizers facilitate routine operation of acoustic traps, and increasing the intensity of the sound far above the levels of the natural call greatly increases the numbers trapped. Acoustic traps are most likely to be useful for species that exhibit long-range phonotaxis under natural conditions. Acoustic traps are unlikely to be cost-effective for control but have proved valuable in studying behavior and ecology, collecting specimens, and monitoring populations.

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