Journal article
Response of alate aphids to green targets on coloured backgrounds

Publication Details
Döring, T.; Kirchner, S.; Kühne, S.; Saucke, H.
Publication year:
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
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To study the effect of background colour on aphid landing on green targets (water pan traps), two field experiments were set up in Hessen, Germany, in 2003. Traps were put onto coloured plastic sheets (13 colours, straw mulch, transparent foil, and uncovered soil, Experiment 1). In Experiment 2, green water pans were again put on coloured plastic sheets (red, white, green, and yellow), and the sheets were either sprayed with insect glue or not. Backgrounds and traps were spectrally characterised with a field radiometer (320-950nm). Aphid catches were highest in the traps on the uncovered background, and lowest in the traps on white or silver backgrounds. For Brevicoryne brassicae, Myzus persicae (Homoptera: Aphididae, Macrosiphini) and five further aphid species, there was a significant negative correlation between UV-reflectance (320-400nm) and log(N+1)-transformed number of individuals. However, the effect of straw mulch (reduced aphid catches with straw compared to the uncovered background), could not be attributed to differences in UV-reflectance, as UV was almost identical in soil and straw. High numbers of alate aphids were caught in traps with dark backgrounds (e.g. black, dark green), a result which was attributed to the high contrast between the background and target. The substantially higher aphid numbers from targets with bare soil than from targets with spectrally similar black backgrounds were thought to be caused by the structure of the background surface: for alate aphids, landing close to the target on smooth surfaces may induce probing, and the lack of appropriate substrate will result in take-off, whereas soil will not induce probing, and aphids will continue to move towards the green targets.

Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:05