Original Paper

Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 53-62

First online:

Distribution of adult stages of soil insect pests across an agricultural landscape

  • Rod P. BlackshawAffiliated withCentre for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, University of Plymouth Email author 
  • , Helen HicksAffiliated withCentre for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, University of Plymouth

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The landscape scale distributions of adult male click beetles of the species Agriotes lineatus, A. obscurus and A. sputator, and the cranefly Tipula paludosa were studied using traps along transects over 2 years. The transects (0.7–1.7 km with either sex pheromone (Agriotes) or water (T. paludosa) traps at 100 m spacings) were in an area of mixed organic land use. Agriotes lineatus was the most numerous click beetle caught even though its larvae were absent from these fields. Greater trap counts were found for all taxa except A. obscurus in grassland. The number of click beetles were influenced by the sampling year, crop type and the species, and interactions of other variables, suggesting that sex pheromone trap counts exhibit variability because of the complexity of the environment. Trap catches were spatially clustered with the exception of A. lineatus in 2005 which had a random distribution. Only A. sputator showed a significant, positive relationship between counts in 2005 and 2006. Variation in catch count of crane flies was largely determined by crop type. We conclude that Agriotes spp. disperse widely and may be recruited from outside the field which makes the interpretation of sex pheromone trap counts scientifically challenging.


Agriotes Tipula paludosa Spatial distribution Landscape Transect Sex pheromone Water trap Wireworms Leatherjackets