Pest scenario of ber ( Ziziphus mauritianaLam.) in arid regions of Rajasthan
Indian jujube known as ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lam.) is an extremely drought hardy and native fruit of India. However, the quality of fruits and productivity is not obtainable up to the standard. One of the reasons for it is infestation of insect pests on the vegetative as well as developing fruits, which ultimately leads to significant yield loss and quality attributes of the fruits. Though as many as 130 species of insect pests have been recorded in India, only few species have attained the pest status and cause substantial economic damage to ber. A total of 12 insect-pests infesting on ber have been recorded from hot arid region of Rajasthan. Out of these, three insects viz., Ber fruit fly (Carpomyia vesuviana Costa), fruit borer (Meridarchis scyrodes) and stone weevil (Aubeus himalayanus Voss) were recorded as major pests with high infestation rate, whereas two insects (Ber butter fly, Tarucus theophrastus (Fabricius) and thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis (Hood)) were recorded as moderate pests. As many as seven insect pests viz., grey weevil, Myllocerus dentifer (Fabricius), M. blandus Faust, Amblyrrhinus poricollis Schoenherr; leaf webber, Synclera univocolis; ber mite, Larvacarus transitans, bark eating caterpillars, Indarbela sp and termite, Odontotermes sp were recorded as minor pests. The incidence of fruit fly (C. vesuviana), fruit borer (M. scyrodes) and stone weevil (A. himalayanus) were recorded on ber from October to February. The fruit fly infests most of the Ziziphus species grown in the world and cause severe yield loss up to 80% or even more. The average percent incidence of stone weevil, A. himalayanus was observed between 13.00 to 64.00 in fallen fruits and 12.00 to 59.33 on attached fruits of ber. The seasonal incidence of fruit borer, M. scyrodes attained its peak in the second fortnight of December (58.33%) in ber crop. The leaf feeder’s viz., ber butterfly, leaf webber, mite, thrips and grey weevils were more active during June to September.
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