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Data Extent

Data from: Importance of color for artificial clay caterpillars as sentinel prey in maize, soybean, and prairie

Data files for manuscript titled "Importance of color for artificial clay caterpillars as sentinel prey in maize, soybean, and prairie".

Metadata is contained within excel file that describes all variables for each tab.

Abstract from paper:
The use of artificial clay caterpillars to measure predation pressure under real field conditions is one method that has garnered recent support for quantifying ecosystem services that beneficial insects provide. Here, we focus on color and ask whether it is an important variable that should be considered in studies using clay caterpillars as sentinel prey. We deployed a total of 1920 brown, cream, green, gray, terracotta, and white clay caterpillars onto maize, soybean, and prairie plants to test if lighter colored caterpillars will be attacked and retrieved more than caterpillars with darker colors. As hypothesized, color was a significant predictor with green and terracotta caterpillars performing best, whereas brown and gray caterpillars performed the worst. Interestingly, clay caterpillars were also attacked proportionally to the number of insects in the surrounding habitat. Combined, we suggest artificial clay caterpillars could be useful for rapid ecosystem function assessments, but only when their color is considered.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POINT (-96.804 44.353)
POINT (-97.122 44.341)
POINT (-96.65 44.24)
Ag Data Commons
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
South Dakota
Temporal Coverage
June 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021
Contact Name
Roeder, Karl
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service