The spatio-temporal distribution of adult Ceutorhynchus assimilis in a crop of winter oilseed rape in relation to the distribution of their larvae and that of the parasitoid Trichomalus perfectus.
The spatio-temporal distribution of Ceutorhynchus assimilis Payk. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) adults caught in a rectangular grid of flight traps in a crop of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) in the southern UK was mapped and analysed using Spatial Analysis by Distance IndicEs (SADIE). Their distribution was compared to that of their larvae and that of their parasitoid Trichomalus perfectus (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) in pods. The distribution of immigrating C. assimilis adults was consistent with their arrival at the crop boundaries and movement within the crop towards its centre. Adult C. assimilis were aggregated at all times, invasion being on two fronts, leading to the formation of two major clusters within the crop. Large areas of the crop remained relatively unpopulated. During the emigration phase, numbers declined simultaneously in all parts of the crop. The distributions of adult and larval C. assimilis and of larval T. perfectus were spatially associated. The distribution of the parasitoid did not show a density dependent relationship with that of its host. We discuss the movements of insects which underlie their population distributions, the value of integrating spatial information into improved management strategies for C. assimilis and the potential for the spatial targeting of insecticides to reduce the amount applied and to conserve T. perfectus.