Hypurus ? portulaceae Marshall (COLEOPTERA : CURCULIONIDAE) ;- A POTENTIAL NATURAL ENEMY OF THE PURSLANE WEED, Portulaca oleracea (L.)
Porlz/Iaca oleracea L., (Portulacaceae), ranking as the ninth \vorld’s worst weed, is considered a weed 01°45 crops in 81 countries of the tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions ofthe \vorld (Holms el aI., 1977). In the tropics, it is particularly important in many upland crops including groundnut, corn, rice, sorghum, sugarcane, grapes, banana and vegetables (Waterhouse, I993). The weed establishes rapidly after soil disturbance and 'ﬂo\vers and seeds before being out competed by other weeds. ln addition to being allelopathic to crop plants (Leela, 1992), the weed acts as alternative host to many pests and pathogens (Holms el aI., 1977). The weed is also reported to cause death oflivestocks, due to the rich oxalate and nitrate content in the leaves and stems (Waterhouse, 1993). Taking into consideration its economic importance as a serious weed ofhorticultural crops, surveys were carried out in and around Bangalore to identify potential natural enemies. These surveys revealed the occurrence of a stem-borer, Hypurus ?porIulaceae Marshall (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) with potential to suppress P. oleracea. So a, preliminary study was carried out on the biology and damage potential of this insect. The adults of H. ? portulaceae are dark brown or black and active.
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