ARTICLE IN PRESS

POLLINATION ACTIVITY OF Elaeidobius kamerunicus FAUST IN OIL PALM AND COCOA (Theobroma cacao L.) INTERCROPPING SYSTEM IN INDIA

L SARAVANAN1*; V SUCHITRA2 and T PHANIKUMAR1

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2023.0035
Received: 30 December 2022   Accepted: 14 June 2023;   Published Online: 8 August 2023
ABSTRACT

Pollinating activity of Elaeidobius kamerunicus Faust (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) was studied in oil palm-cocoa intercrop conditions in Andhra Pradesh, India. The study showed a high abundance of E. kamerunicus on anthesising as well as post-anthesised male inflorescences for a greater part of the year i.e., 62.2 to 162.2 and 39.3 to 87.3 weevils/spikelet respectively. Although, pollinator density declined during summer months, it was sufficient for effecting satisfactory fruit set. Peak activity was noticed in February. Pearson correlation analysis showed highly significant negative correlations between pollinator population and minimum, maximum and mean temperatures. Pollinator population peaked on 3rd day of anthesis on male inflorescences, and on 2nd day of anthesis on female inflorescences. Weevil activity recorded on the day of highest abundance during anthesis revealed a peak activity between 10:00-12:00 hr and 10:00-13:00 hr on male and female inflorescences respectively. Rat predation on the pollinator was noticed throughout the year with a higher level of predation during summer months. In spite of negative effects posed by abiotic and biotic factors, E. kamerunicus density and pollinating efficiency were high throughout the year for the purpose of achieving a higher fruit set (79.6%-93.6%). The practical implications of this knowledge are discussed.

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1 ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources,
Regional Station, Hyderabad, Telangana State, India.

2 Horticultural Research Station,
Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State
Horticultural University, Adilabad,
Telangana State, India.

* Corresponding author e-mail: laxmansaravanars@gmail.com