AGE AND REPRODUCTIVE STATUS OF PHEROMONE TRAPPED FEMALES OF RED PALM WEEVIL, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (COLEOPTERA: CURCULIONIDAE)
Morphological changes in the ovarian system of red palm weevils, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), reared on coconut frond piece, were studied at Department of Entomology, UAS, GKVK, Bangalore during 2001 as a function of adult age and reproductive status. Development of ovarian system was studied in both unmated and mated females after dissection at regular intervals. Number of eggs were counted in both lateral and common oviducts. Higher numbers of eggs were found in mated females of 10 to 25 day old weevils. Females were graded into four categories viz., virgin or umnated, gravid, laying and spent females, based on the ovarian development, number of eggs in lateral and common oviducts and the quantity of accumulation of fat globules in the abdominal cavity. Pheromone trapping using synthetic ‘Ferrolure’ was done in red palm weevil infested coconut gardens at Tumkur district of Karnataka. Pheromone trap captured weevils were brought to laboratory, dissected and reproductive status was identiﬁed based on the grading of laboratory reared weevils. Most females captured in the pheromone traps were gravid (45-70%) which had initiated egg development followed by virgins (14-25%). The percentage of laying and spent females caught in the traps was very low. This method forms a basis for determining the reproductive potential of pheromone trap caught weevils which otherwise cause a great damage in the coconut gardens.
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