A variety of traps have been developed for monitoring introduced populations of Pseudacteon spp. phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae) across their established range in the United States. Such traps typically exploit common aspects of phorid fly biology and behavior, such as their attraction to live or dead red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), as well as the perching behavior of these parasitoids. However, populations of multiple species of phorid flies have been established in the United States to serve as biological control agents against S. invicta, and it is unclear if all trap designs are equally effective in sampling this variety of phorid species. This study investigated the effectiveness of six trap designs simultaneously during three sampling events in south- central Texas. Interactions between two species of phorid flies (Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier and P. curvatus B.) and their hosts have been intensively studied at this location for over eight years. When analyzed independently, there were no significant differences in the mean number of P. curvatus or P. tricuspis phorid s collected by any of the trap designs during any of the sampling events. However, when the total number of phorids collected were combined, significant trap performance differentials were observed during the October 2010 sampling event. Furthermore, there were significant differences among male flies during the September 2012 observation. Additionally, a trap component cost comparison is provided. The consistent and relatively equivalent performance of the phorid traps investigated in these trials suggests that all are appropriate for phorid surveillance, and cost and ease-of-use considerations may be the most important criteria when selecting a trap design.
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Vol. 42 • No. 4