Monitoring exotic beetles with inexpensive attractants: a case study.
Detecting and monitoring exotic and invasive Coleoptera is a complex activity to implement, and citizen science projects can provide significant contributions to such plans. Bottle traps are successfully used in wildlife surveys and can also be adapted for monitoring alien species; however, a sustainable, large scale trapping plan must take into account the collateral catches of native species and thus minimize its impact on local fauna. In the present paper, we tested the use of bottles baited with standard food products that can be purchased in every supermarket and immediately used (apple cider vinegar, red wine, and 80% ethyl alcohol) in capturing exotic and invasive beetles in the area surrounding Malpensa Airport (Italy). In particular, we reduced the exposition type of the traps in each sampling round to three days in order to minimize native species collecting. We found a significant effect of the environmental covariates (trap placement, temperature, humidity, and forest type) in affecting the efficiency in catching target beetles. Nearly all invasive Nitidulidae and Scarabaeidae known to be present in the area were captured in the traps, with apple cider vinegar usually being the most effective attractant, especially for the invasive Popillia japonica.