Indigenous bugs help to tackle invasive pest on fruits

Three indigenous bugs are found to be the biological weapons against a Caribbean origin enemy of Indian fruit farmers-The woolly white fly.

According to the survey of ICAR, the pest damage to the crops is about 30-35%. This woolly whitefly is a serious troubling one to the fruit growers(An exotic pest).

This whitefly (Aleurothrixus floccosus) is invasive and polyphagous. On a research it has been found that the spread of this insect came from the Caribbean Island through the infested seedlings in 2019.

On a motto of providing relief to the farmers from this pest, a team of entomologists from the Centre of Plant Protection Studies at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University zeroed in on three indigenous bugs that can control the pest by devouring them.

Two of these indigenous predators were ladybird beetles of the Coccinellidae family and one was the green lacewing fly from the Neuroptera order. The bugs fed on the woolly whiteflies during the active grub stage for 10-12 days, devouring more of the flies as they grew.

The team of entomologists are K.Elango, S.Jeyarajan Nelson, S.Sridharan and A.Aravind whose research on this was published in the latest edition of Bionotes, a journal for research on lifeforms.

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