FIRST RECORD ON INCIDENCE AND DAMAGE OF TROPICAL FIRE ANT SOLENOPSIS GEMINATA (FABRICIUS) (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) IN HORTICULTURAL ECOSYSTEMS FROM TAMIL NADUT. Nalini and S. Sasinathan
A Survey was conducted to observe the field incidence of Solenopsis geminata during the year 2017 and 2018 in farmers field at Therkumangudi and experimental farms of Faculty of agriculture, Annamalai University in brinjal (Solanum melongera), bhendi (Abelmoschus esculantus) and mesta (Hibiscus spp.) respectively in relation to abiotic factors for the first time in Tamilnadu. Also it is a maiden attempt to record damage caused by S. geminata on brinjal and bhendi in Tamil Nadu. They occurred and caused damage on both the crops even without the association of Homopterans. From the study, it is evident that in brinjal, S. geminate incidence was maximum in 22nd standard week (56.30). The maximum shoot damage was noticed in the same standard week (3.51%), when the abiotic factors such as maximum temperature, minimum temperature, rainfall were 38.6Â°C, 27.6Â°Cand 000.0mm respectively. In bhendi, maximum S. geminata population (61.66%) was observed as maximum in 22nd standard week. The maximum bud and flower damage of 6.45%, 4.21% was noticed in the same standard week. In mesta, maximum number of S. geminata was noticed in 46th standard week (45.64), when the weather parameters were such as maximum temperature, minimum temperature and rainfall were 31.2Â°C, 23.4Â°C, 006.8mm respectively. Mealybug incidence noticed during the same period was 65.47.
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