Removal sampling, sweepnet sampling, and visual count sampling conducted while walking at constant velocity through a field were used to sample populations of adults of five coccinellid species in plots established in spring wheat fields, Triticum aestivum L. Estimates of absolute population density obtained from two 20-min removal samples taken from each of six 5- by 5-m sub-plots per plot proved reliable and were used to convert estimates obtained from sweepnet sampling (180 sweeps per plot) and visual counts (36 min per plot walking at 10 m/min) into absolute estimates of population density. Population density estimates obtained by removal sampling were quite precise except for species with low capture efficiencies and low population densities.
Crop plant growth stage influenced the numbers of beetles caught in sweepnet samples and was incorporated in regression models for converting sweepnet catch to absolute density. Values of R2 of regressions ranged from 0.51 to 0.90, depending on species. Visual counts were influenced by temperature and aphid density, and these variables were incorporated in regression models. Values of R2 for regressions relating visual counts to population densities ranged from 0.63 to 0.94, depending on species.