Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.07, Issue 01, 2001; Page No.(87-96)

INVESTIGATION OF PLANT SPECIES AND NATURE OF DAMAGE TO THEM INVOLVED IN FEEDING OPERATION BY THE PESTIFEROUS SLUG LAEVICAULIS ALTE (FERUSSAC) WITH A SHORT REVIEW ON THE ASPECT CAUSED BY OTHER SLUG SPECIES IN WORLD AGRI-HORTICULTURE

A. Panigrahi

Abstract

In natural conditions, at Sandeshkhali, 24-Parganas (North), West Bengal, India during monsoon (July-August) and post-monsoon (September-October) period the pestiferous slugs Loeyicaulis a/te (Ferussac) came out of their hiding pockets between I 6.00 and 19.00 h and started feeding on their food-plants. L alte have a wide range of food-plant acceptability covering both economic and wild plant species. The slugs fed mostly on the leaves of the cultivated plants viz. arum (Colocasia esculenta), citron (Citrus media), China rose (Rosa centifolia), giant taro (Alocasia indica). rose (Rosa centfok), vegetable sponge (Lufra ocutangula), and the wild plants viz, Cephatondra indica, Commelina bengholensis, Hygrophilo angustiofolia, Hemigrophis latebrosa, Ipornoea nit Ludwiga perennis, leaves, twigs and barks of the cultivated plants viz. amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus), bean (Loblab purpureus), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), fenugreek (Trigoneila foenum graecum), gourd (Lagenoria vulgaris), garden spinach (Spinacea oleracea), lady's finger (Hibiscus esculentus), lettuce (Loctuca satyr)), mustard (Brassica nigra), malabar night shade (Bosek rubra), marigold (Togetes patula), tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum), the wild plant akund (Co/otropis procera) and only on the twigs of the cultivated plant, field mint (Mentha arvensis), dahlia (Dahlia tuberosa) and tuberose (Polianthes tuberose). Since L alte exhibited preference for live plant species over semidecomposed ones, undoubtedly it is a dangerous adaptation so far damage is concerned. Because, lack of preferred live plant materials would not hamper their population growth. A brief review on the aspect made by different species of slugs has been discussed here with a view to understand the pestiferous feeding nature of the molluscs in world agrihorticultu re.

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