Improving the efficiency of lepidopteran pest detection and surveillance: constraints and opportunities for multiple-species trapping.
Surveillance using attractants for invasive species can allow early detection of new incursions and provide decision support to response programs. Simultaneous trapping for multiple species, by baiting traps with several lures, is expected to increase the number of species that can be targeted in surveillance programs and improve the cost-effectiveness without affecting surveillance coverage. We tested this hypothesis by choosing four potential forest and urban lepidopteran pest species that are present in Europe but not yet in New Zealand and many other countries. We deployed traps in central and southern Europe with single lures or all possible species combinations (up to four lures per trap). There was only limited interference, apparently due to trap saturation, but no evidence for interspecific repellency among lures for gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea, pine processionary moth, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, and pine shoot moth, Rhyacionia buoliana. To assess what factors may be important in species compatibility/suitability for multiple-species trapping, we combined our results with those of previous studies conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture. For 75 combinations of pheromones, tested singly or in combination, 19% showed no effect on trap catch for any of the species tested. In the other cases, either one or both species showed a reduction in trap catch. However, few lure combinations caused complete or nearly complete suppression. For most combinations, catches were still sufficiently high for detection purposes. Species from the same superfamily exhibited more interference than more distantly related species. Together, these results suggest that there are opportunities to improve the range of exotic pests under surveillance, at little additional cost, by multiple-species trapping for which compatibility has been demonstrated.