SPECIES COMPOSITION AND ABUNDANCE OF PREDATORS WITH REFERENCE TO THE POMEGRANATE APHID, Aphis punicae Passerini
Field studies were conducted to assess the species composition and
abundance of aphidophagous predators in pomegranate ecosystem during 2000 - 2002 at Bangalore. Pomegranate aphid, Aphis punicae was preyed upon by three coccinellid, two syrphid and one chrysopid predators. Significant positive correlation was observed between the aphid and predators during both the years. When the most significantly correlated factors were taken and regressed to quantify the extent of variability in aphids that could be explained by these factors, the linear model could explain the variability in aphids due to predators (y = 0.0027x + 0.0067) to the extent of 81% whereas the polynomial model (y = 7 x1O-6x2+0.0022x + 0.0085) could explain up to 82% variability in aphids due to predators. The abundance of the different species in the predatory complex was also studied and studies revealed that Cheilomenes sexmaculata was the most abundant species followed by Scymnus sp. that contributed to the total predators and significantly related to aphid population.
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