Improved understanding of vine weevil movement within strawberry crops

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Improved understanding of vine weevil movement within strawberry crops

Description

Abstract: This study investigated the potential of a novel strategy for controlling adult vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus). The approach uses artificial vine weevil refuges containing spores of an entomopathogenic fungus (EPF) and exploits vine weevil aggregation and dispersal behaviour to disseminate the pathogen throughout weevil populations. Using passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags it was possible to record the movement of vine weevil adults within a strawberry crop over a period of 35 days. Weevils were found to disperse up to 1.41 m in a 24 hour period and to move both along and between rows of strawberry grow-bags. In a second experiment, fluorescent powders were used to record the use of artificial refuges by vine weevil adults in a naturally infested commercial strawberry crop. Two days after placing these traps within the strawberry crop 17% of weevils recorded in a nighttime assessment had come into contact with the fluorescent powder.These results will be used to determine how effectively adult vine weevil may disseminate an EPF from artificial refuges throughout the crop and the weevil population.

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