ARTHROPOD FAUNA OF OIL PALM INFLORESCENCE (Elaeis guineensis), WITH NOTES ON THEIR ECOLOGICAL ROLES IN A PLANTATION IN TERENGGANU, MALAYSIA
Received: 10 June 2022 Accepted: 26 January 2023 Published Online: 15 March 2023
Arthropod communities at oil palm inflorescence, specifically the insects, are known to forage for floral resources and hence act as pollinators to the palm tree. However, their activities at the inflorescence other than as pollinators are rarely explained. This study was conducted at an oil palm plantation located at Hulu Terengganu District, in Terengganu state, Peninsular Malaysia. Arthropod fauna was extracted from 15 male and female inflorescences for identification, and bottle traps were set up to capture the arthropod fauna for pollen load observations. A total of 14 insect taxa, two spiders and a millipede were recorded in this study. A high abundance of Elaeidobius kamerunicus was recorded and with high conspecific pollen loads on their bodies further confirming their importance as pollinators for the palm tree. Predation activity by an earwig on larvae of the insect pollinators which used the male inflorescence as a breeding site was observed in this study. Other than utilising the oil palm inflorescence as a preying and breeding ground, earwigs, ants, wasps and flies were also likely pollinators for the oil palm tree. Hence this study adds more understanding of the ecological role of arthropods in the oil palm plantations in Malaysia.KEYWORDS:
1 Fakulti Sains dan Sekitaran Marin,
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu,
21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia.
2 TDM Plantation Sdn. Bhd.,
Bangunan UMNO Terengganu,
Jalan Masjid Abidin, 20100 Kuala Terengganu,
3 Pusat Pengajian Sains Kajihayat,
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden,
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
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