Alate Trap-Based Assessment of Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Dispersal Flight Phenology Associated with an Urbanized Barrier Island Ecosystem
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During 2009, 2010, and 2011, the reproductive dispersal flight phenology of Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) was assessed on Galveston Island, TX, via LED light-based termite alate traps. In all three years, traps were deployed at sampling sites before the initiation of C. formosanus dispersal flights, and retrieved weekly until the cessation flights. In total, 45, 102, and 90 traps were deployed during 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively. In all years, C. formosanus flights began during the second full week of May; however, peak dispersal flight activity occurred 2 wk earlier in 2009 and 2011 than in 2010. Significantly more alates were collected during the 2009 flight peak than in 2010 and 2011 despite the fact that greater than twice the number of traps were deployed in 2010 and 2011, versus 2009. Additionally, a greater percentage of traps collected C. formosanus alates in 2009 (71.1%) than in 2010 (38.2%) or 2011 (20.0%). A relatively inexpensive trap design (∼US$25.00 per trap) was developed for this project. The traps used in this work yielded results that were similar to those of other researchers using a variety of different trap designs. It is hoped that these results will allow for more targeted surveillance of C. formosanus dispersal flights by residents and pest management professionals at this location and elsewhere.
author list (cited authors)
Puckett, R. T., Espinoza, E. M., & Gold, R. E.