A modular transportable cage for standardized tests in mating disruptionby CIRCE method
Abstract: For the investigation of new active ingredients and/or formulations for use in matingdisruption, a new scheme was proposed by Doye & Koch in 2005. A flight cage is placed in themiddle of a treated field with a female baited trap inside, and a large number (e.g. 50) of malesare released into it. If the female in the cage can catch no males, the aerial pheromoneconcentration is considered to be sufficient for mating disruption. Although CIRCE has beenwidely adopted, questions arose about cage details. In some cases, males were unexpectedlycaught in cages placed in fields with standard treatments. Problems may have been caused bycage size (kept small to permit transport), or the lack of appropriate plant environment inside.A third issue is the choice of cage materials to optimize weather resistance, weight and inertnessto pheromone.We have designed and built a new cage model to avoid these problems. It consists of 12aluminium frames (size 0.8×2.4m) carrying aluminium wire screens. The frames are connectedby nuts and bolts to form a cage with the measurements 2.4×2.4×1.6m (height*lenght*width).The cage can be mounted in two halves over a wire education system as found in apple orchardsor vineyards, creating an authentic plant environment inside. When dismantled, the cage becomesa package 0.36×0.8×2.4m and weighs 51kg. This permits transport on a passenger car roof andshipment by air. We propose this cage model as a reference instrument to make mating disruptionexperiments more reproducible and comparable.