For the invasive planthopper Lycorma delicatula, eggs are an attractive target for surveys and management because they can persist from September through May before hatching, and remnants may be retained for years after hatching. Efforts to control this invasive species, though, are hampered by imperfect detection, which impedes early detection and rapid response, obscures management impacts, and reduces the fraction of egg masses that can be managed. To estimate egg mass detectability, we conducted 75 duplicate surveys of 20 × 5 m plots located in forest edges and disturbed areas frequently used by L. delicatula. We fit binomial mixture models and investigated the effects of weather, height (above or below 3 m), season (winter or spring), and basal area of trees within plots, finding no evidence that these factors affected detection rate, which averaged 52.2%. We additionally estimated the fraction of L. delicatula eggs that were laid above 3 m, putting them outside of easy reach for management by scraping or targeted ovicide application. This proportion varied with basal area of trees within plots, and the estimated mean was greater than 50% across the range of basal areas in study plots. Finally, we found that counts of old egg masses correlated with counts of new egg masses laid the year prior, but the ability to infer prior years' egg mass counts was limited. Together, these findings inform managers delimiting L. delicatula populations in mixed habitats and those treating egg masses to slow population growth and spread of this pest.
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