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Research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of multispectral (conventional color and color infrared) imagery and a common vegetation index (simple ratio) for detecting incipient infestations of spider mites (Tetranychus spp.; Acari: Tetranychidae) and false spider mites (Brevipalpus spp.; Acari: Tenupalpidae) on selected crops under glasshouse conditions. Although damaging infestations of both mite species were associated with intense feeding injury which was readily detectable by visual inspection, subtle levels of foliar damage caused by the two mite species were difficult to detect by visual inspection and were not readily distinguishable from undamaged (healthy) foliage in conventional color (CC) or color infrared (CIR) imagery. In contrast, foliage exhibiting subtle levels of mite feeding injury was readily distinguished from healthy foliage in derivative imagery based on the Simple Ratio (SR), a vegetation index defined as the ratio of near-infrared to red reflectance (700-1100 nm and 600-700 nm, respectively) for each pixel in the imagery. CIR and SR images were shown to be considerably more effective than CC imagery in the initial detection and subsequent monitoring of a spider mite infestation on glasshouse cucumbers which increased from incipient to annihilative levels within a period of approximately six weeks. The rationale for and potential uses of CC, CIR, and derivative imagery based on SR and other vegetative indices for monitoring pest infestations on glasshouse crops are discussed.

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Subtropical Plant Science

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Biology Commons



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