Byers, J.A. 2012. Modelling female mating success during mass trapping and natural competitive attraction of searching males or females.
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 145:228-237.
Simulation models of insects encountering sex pheromone with or without mass trapping in which
the searching sex is either male (moths and many insect species) or female (some true bugs, beetles,
and flies) were developed. The searching sex moved as a correlated random walk, while the opposite
sex remained stationary (calling) and released an attractive sex pheromone. The searching sex was
caught when encountering a pheromone-baited trap, and females mated when encountering a male.
An encounter with pheromone was defined by the searcherís interception of a circle termed the effective
attraction radius (EARc). Parameters of movement (speed and duration), initial numbers of
calling sex and searching sex, number of traps, area, and EARc of traps and calling sex were varied
individually to evaluate effects on the percentage of females mating. In the natural condition without
traps, female mating success in both models was identical. Increasing the EARc of the calling sex
caused diminishing increases in female mating success, suggesting that evolution of larger pheromone
release and EARc is limited by increasing costs (production/sensitivity) relative to diminishing
increases and benefits of mating encounters. With mass trapping, increasing the EARc of traps or
density of traps caused similar declines in female mating in both models, but the female-searching
model predicted slightly lower mating success than the male-searching model. Increasing the EARc of
calling insects or the initial density of insects caused similar increases in female mating in both
models, but again the female-searching model had slightly lower mating success than the male searching
model. The models have implications for mating lek formation and for understanding the
variables affecting the success of mass trapping programs for insect pests with either male or female