An Inexpensive and Comprehensive Method to Examine and Quantify Field Insect Community Influenced by Host Plant Olfactory Cues
Insect pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies use olfactory cues emitted by their host plants to locate them. In insect-plant ecology, understanding the mechanisms underlying these interactions are of critical importance, as this bio-communication has both ecological and agricultural applications. However, the first step in such research is to identify and quantify the insect community associated with the plant/s species of interest. Traditionally, this has been accomplished by a variety of insect trapping methods, either using pitfall traps, or sticky traps, or sweep nets in field. The data collected from these traps tend to be incomplete, and also damage the specimens, making them unusable for any taxonomic purposes. This protocol derives ideas from these traditional traps and use a combination of three easily made inexpensive modified traps that conceals the host plant, but allows the plant volatiles to pass through as olfactory cues. These traps are economical, can be made to fit with most plant sizes, and are also reusable. Collectively, these traps will provide a solid estimate (quantifiable) of all associated community of arthropods that can also be stored for future studies.
Rupesh et. al., (2018). An Inexpensive and Comprehensive Method to Examine and Quantify Field Insect Community Influenced by Host Plant Olfactory Cues, Bio-protocol 8 (16): e2967. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2967