NEW RECORD OF AN ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGUS Verticillium sp. ON CARDAMOM WHITEFLY Kanakarajiella cardamomi (David and Subramaniam)
Small cardamom (Elettaria cardamonmm Maton) popularly known as “Queen of Spices" is native to Agasthikoodarn evergreen forest of Western Ghats in South India (Kumar, l993). Among the insects reported on cardamom, the whiteﬂy Kanakarajiella cardamomi (David and Subramaniam) (Hemiptera : Aleyrodidac) is a major insect pest causing a yield loss of 20~40% (Selvakumaran et aI., 1999). Unusual sudden rise in temperature (27°C) coupled with long break during the monsoon (June-July, i999) resulted in severe outbreak of K. cardamomi (Josephrajkumar and Murugan, 2000). Temperature 20°C was not recorded in cardamom hill reserve coinciding with monsoon in the last five decades (Murugan et al., 2000). No such epidemic was reported from other cardamom growing tracts. A survey was therefore, conducted to determine the occunence of natural enemies of the pest at ﬁve important cardamom growing pancltayats of Idukki district, Kerala, constituting more than 65% of the area under the crop.
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