Pollinator diversity and abundance in bitter gourd, Momordica charantia Linn.

G SUBHAKAR, K SREEDEVI, K MANJULA, N P ESWARA REDDY

Abstract


Field studies were conducted at the Department of Entomology, S.V. Agricultural College, Tirupati, India to document the diversity and abundance of insect pollinators on bitter gourd. Fourteen insect species including 6 hymenopterans, 5 lepidopterans and 3 dipterans were recorded visiting the bitter gourd flowers. Among them, Trigona iridipennis, Halictus gutturosus and Apis florea were the most frequent and abundant visitors. The abundance of T. iridipennis was highest (10.83 bees/m2/5 minutes) followed by H. gutturosus (1.06 bees/m2/5 minutes) and A. florea (0.37 bees/m2/5 minutes). Among all insect visitors, Hymenoptera order constituted the major chunk of pollinators (88.51%) followed by Diptera (5.81%) and Lepidoptera was the least (4.68%). Of total bee population, T. iridipennis had the maximum proportion
(77.52%) followed by H. gutturosus (7.60%). Foraging activity was maximum (9.22-8.17 bees/m2/5 minutes) at 0900-1000 h of the day. Foraging activity of T. iridipennis, A. florea and H. gutturosus  commenced at 0600, 0630 and 0730 h, respectively with peak at 0900-1000 h and ceased by 1400, 1230 and 1300 h, respectively.

Keywords


Apis sp. bitter gourd; pollinator diversity; Trigona sp.; Halictus sp

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