Display name Robert Meagher First name Robert Last name Meagher email@example.com Role Researcher Country United States (US) Organisation United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Area of Research Biology, Monitoring, Surveillance and Scouting Describe your research
My research is mostly involved with monitoring of fall armyworm populations and biological control. For monitoring, my work is mostly using sex attractions (pheromones) to capture male moths and floral volatiles to capture male and female moths. For biological control, I'm researching conservation techniques such as flowering plants and cover crops to enhance natural enemy populations. I have several parasitoid species in culture including both egg and larval species.
ORCID iD 0000-0003-2769-1043 Google Scholar Link Member since August 11, 2020 Topics posted 0 Replies 4
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Hi Aislinn, The traps were run by either county extension agents or state university researchers or extension agents. Trapping sites were either state experiment stations or grower fields. We supplied cooperators with bucket traps, pheromone lures, and vaportape and instructions on how trapping should be carried out. We also used numbers in the models from PestWatch (Penn State) that had some of the same cooperators. At the peak we had 47 locations in the Midwest and eastern U.S. Check out Rod Nagoshi's pubs for the genetic results and John Westbrook's pubs for the scale(s) that were modeled. (Westbrook, J. et al. 2019. Multigenerational migration of a pest insect. Ecosphere. 10(11):e02919. 10.1002/ecs2.2919; Westbrook, J. et al. 2016. Modeling seasonal migration of fall armyworm moths. International Journal of Biometeorology. 60(2): 255-267; Nagoshi, R. et al. 2014. Assessing the resolution of haplotype distributions to delineate fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) migratory behaviors. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(4): 1462-1470; Nagoshi, R. et al. 2012. Inferring the annual migration patterns of fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the U.S. from mitochondrial haplotypes. Ecology and Evolution. 2(7): 1458-1467). All of the reprints can be found at my webpage (Robert Meagher : USDA ARS). Although a few sites remained constant (mostly in Florida, Alabama and Georgia), many of the cooperators moved traps to various locations from year to year based on available grower assistance. The grant ended a couple of years ago as did that particular project.
December 21, 2020
Hi Aislinn, Congrats on the position at CABI! We have used bucket traps to monitor large areas of the U.S. for fall armyworm and several points were important. One was having a sponge or toweling, or drilling small holes in the bottom of the trap so as to reduce moths getting wet. Two was having a 2-component lure so that a high percentage of moths were FAW and not another species. Third, using a strong kill agent (dichlorvos if possible) that hung along the side of the trap to kill moths quickly. Finally, each of our cooperators serviced the traps 2 or 3 times a week, so that during large flight periods numbers were easier to count on the "off" days. We never used electronic monitoring but were still able to use old school trapping to provide quality data for the modelers.
December 14, 2020
Dear Jorgelina, Sorry about the delay in responding. Pheromone-baited traps are very successful in monitoring FAW populations and following population movement. Traps can be very sensitive to low populations, but only under specific conditions can be correlated to larval populations in the crops. For control of FAW populations, I can think of two approaches. When synthetic versions of pheromone were first being developed in the 1970s, one of the hopes was that by mass trapping of males, populations could be reduced. However unlike other pest insects like Diptera, female FAW mate multiple times and it only takes one mating to fertilize most of her eggs. Mass trapping can not remove all the males in the habitat before they mate, so there may be a decline in numbers during mass trapping but certainly not control. The second approach has more potential and that is using pheromones as a mating disruption tool. The early work in the 1980s and 1990s was not successful but new techniques are being used and there are several companies that are trying this strategy again. There have been large scale trials in different areas of the world so maybe pheromones will be useful as a management strategy.
September 4, 2020
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