Optimum spacing of pheromone traps for monitoring the coffee leaf miner Leucoptera coffeella


*Correspondence: R.N.C. Guedes, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa MG 36571-000, Brazil. E-mail: guedes@ufv.br


Pest monitoring with pheromone traps is affected mainly by factors such as trap placement and pest biology. The intertrap distance can affect the capture due to competition among traps that are placed at short distances. We studied the interference among pheromone traps used to monitor males of the coffee leaf miner, Leucoptera coffeella (Guérin-Méneville) (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae), with traps placed at various distances. Using geostatistical analysis, we determined at what distance captures were independent from other traps. Traps were placed in groups of 12 with distances among traps per group either 2, 5, 10, 15, or 30 m. Traps were checked for males every 4 days during 16 days. We found interference between traps when intertrap distances were shorter than 10 m. The range and magnitude of spatial dependence varied considerably among each sampling date and wind direction. For directions of 45° and 135°, the traps should be placed 110 and 177 m apart, respectively, to obtain spatially independent counts and therefore representative samplings for assessing the insect population in the area. These results have implications for developing sampling plans for managing L. coffeella with pheromone traps; the spatial analysis indicated that a trap density of one pheromone trap for every 3.5–4 ha would be adequate for the monitoring of the coffee leaf miner.