Attractiveness of various colored sticky traps to some pollinating insects in apple


Abstract: Sticky colored traps have been widely used for sampling of harmful insects in wild and cultivated plants worldwide. Colored sticky traps could be a simple and a low-cost method for determining the relative abundance of harmful and beneficial insects, including pollinators. However, knowledge about catches of nontargeted insects such as pollinators by colored traps is rudimentary. Trials were conducted to evaluate the attractiveness of various colors (white, yellow, blue, and green) to some pollinating insects in apple in Adana Province, Turkey, during 2011 and 2012. Colored plates were hung at about 1.70 m from ground level of the exterior canopy of the selected trees at the beginning of their blooming and they were positioned toward the 4 cardinal directions. A total of 7 insect species belonging to the families Syrphidae (6 species, Diptera) and Apidae (1 species, Hymenoptera) were identified. Pollinating hoverfly Eristalis tenax L. and honey bee Apis mellifera L. were frequently captured, and significantly more of them were captured on white traps (P < 0.05). Blue and green colored traps were less attractive to both pollinator species. Cardinal directions did not have a significant effect on catches of E. tenax and A. mellifera on white traps. The use of white sticky traps may provide more ecological data for pollinators. However, using white colored traps for mass trapping of harmful insect species in fruit orchards may be risky due to reducing their numbers, particularly during blooming periods of the fruit orchards. Arrangements of sticky trap use prior to peak occurrence of the pollinators would be a better approach in terms of conservation of pollinators and sustainability of ecosystems.

Keywords: Apis mellifera, Eristalis tenax, sticky traps, catches, pollination, apple

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