Influence of the color, shape, and size of the clay model on arthropod interactions in turfgrass.
Many predatory arthropods occur naturally in turfgrass, and they provide adequate control of lepidopteran pests, such as fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Recording predation is challenging under field conditions because predators rarely leave any evidence. Clay models were successfully employed for studying predation, and this technique is underutilized in turfgrass. Little is known about whether the characteristics of clay models, such as color, shape, and size, influence arthropod interactions in turfgrass. To improve the utility of clay models in turfgrass, the influence of the color, shape, and size of clay models on arthropod interactions was studied by exposing clay models during daytime and nighttime in a turfgrass field. The results showed that arthropods interacted with clay models, and various types of impressions were recorded, including paired marks, scratches, cuts, and pricks. Although the color of the clay model had no significant effects on arthropod interactions during the night, significantly greater numbers of impressions were noticed on the blue and green models than on the yellow models during the daytime. The caterpillar-shaped models captured significantly greater densities of impressions than the beetle-shaped models. Additionally, the number of impressions significantly increased with an increase in the size of the model regardless of shape.