The native banana-spotting bug, Amblypelta lutescens lutescens Distant, is a major polyphagous insect pest of many tropical and subtropical horticultural crops in Australia, including high-valued commodities such as avocado (Persea americana Mill. (Laurales: lauraceae)). The cryptic nature of A. l. lutescens makes it difficult to sample, and much about its ecology and behavior remains poorly understood. A lure based on the main components of the semiochemicals emitted by male A. l. lutescens, which is attractive to adult males, adult females, and nymphs, has been developed and incorporated into a trap, facilitating sampling of A. l. lutescens in the field. A 2-yr study investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of the pest in two conventionally managed avocado (cv. Shepard) orchards using a grid (36 m × 36 m) of traps across each. In each year of the study, higher numbers of A. l. lutescens were recorded from October to June. In one field, spatial clustering of adults was detected in close proximity to an adjacent lime [Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) (Rutales: rutaceae) Swingle] crop that was not managed with insecticides during the study. Spatial clustering of nymphs was detected adjacent to native riparian vegetation in the other field. The results suggest that source populations of A. l. lutescens could originate from neighboring crops that host A. l. lutescens and from riparian vegetation. Focused sampling of trees at the interface with these vegetation types could lead to early pest detection, timely suppression, and therefore improved pest management.
Journal of Economic Entomology
Vol. 112 • No. 4
Vol. 112 • No. 4
spatial analysis by distance indices