A modified mole cricket lure and description of Scapteriscus borellii (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) range expansion and calling song in California
Invasive mole cricket species in the genus Scapteriscus have become significant agricultural pests and are continuing to expand their range in North America. Though largely subterranean, adults of some species, such as Scapteriscus borellii Giglio-Tos 1894, are capable of long dispersive flights and phonotaxis to male calling songs to find suitable habitats and mates. Mole crickets in the genus Scapteriscus are known to be attracted to and can be caught by audio lure traps that broadcast synthesized or recorded calling songs. We report improvements in the design and production of electronic controllers for the automation of semipermanent mole cricket trap lures as well as highly portable audio trap collection designs. Using these improved audio lure traps, we collected the first reported individuals of the pest mole cricket S. borellii in California. We describe several characteristic features of the calling song of the California population including that the pulse rate is a function of soil temperature, similar to Florida populations of S. borellii. Further, we show that other calling song characteristics (carrier frequency, intensity, and pulse rate) are significantly different between the populations.