Binomial sampling based on the proportion of samples infested was investigated for estimating mean densities of citrus rust mite, Phyllocoptruta oleivora (Ashmead), and Aculops pelekassi (Keifer) (Acari: Eriophyidae), on oranges, Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck. Data for the investigation were obtained by counting the number of motile mites within 600 sample units (each unit a 1-cm2 surface area per fruit) across a 4-ha block of trees (32 blocks total): five areas per 4 ha, five trees per area, 12 fruit per tree, and two samples per fruit. A significant (r2 = 0.89), linear relationship was found between ln(−ln(1 −P0)) and ln(mean), where P0 is the proportion of samples with more than zero mites. The fitted binomial parameters adequately described a validation data set from a sampling plan consisting of 192 samples. Projections indicated the fitted parameters would apply to sampling plans with as few as 48 samples, but reducing sample size resulted in an increase of bootstrap estimates falling outside expected confidence limits. Although mite count data fit the binomial model, confidence limits for mean arithmetic predictions increased dramatically as proportion of samples infested increased. Binomial sampling using a tally threshold of 0 therefore has less value when proportions of samples infested are large. Increasing the tally threshold to two mites marginally improved estimates at larger densities. Overall, binomial sampling for a general estimate of mite densities seemed to be a viable alternative to absolute counts of mites per sample for a grower using a low management threshold such as two or three mites per sample.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1