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New Records of some Pests of the Coconut Inflorescence and Developing Fruit and Their Natural Enemies in Sri Lanka

Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka
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A survey was carried out at Bandirippuwa Estate, Kirimetiyana Estate and at IsolatedSeed Garden, Rajakadaluwa for the pests of coconut inflorescence and developing fruits.The mite, Dolichotetranychus sp. (Tenuipalpidae) which lives beneath the perianthand feeds on the epicarp, causes considerable damage to the developing fruit. Bi-monthlyobservations on the intensity of infestation of nuts among different forms of coconutindicated a significant difference among forms in their susceptibility to mite damage.Pseudococcus cocotis (Maskell) (Pseudococcidae), Pseudococcus citriculus Green(Pseudococcidae) and Planococcus lilacinus (Cockereli) (Pseudococcidae), when feedingin large numbers on the peduncle, cause button nut shedding and drying up of the inflorescence.The parasitoids and predators of these mealybugs recorded for the first timein Sri Lanka are Promuscidea unfasciativentris Girault (Aphelinidae) Platygaster sp.(Platygastridae), Anagyrus sp. nr. pseudococci (Girault) (Encyrtidae) Coccodiplosis sp.(Cecidomyiidae), Cryptogonus bryanti Kapur (Coccinellidae) and Pseudoscymnus sp.(Coccinellidae).Several species of scale insects namely, Coccus hesperidum (Linnaeus) (Coccidae)Aulacaspis sp. (Diaspididae), Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli (Cooley) (Diaspididae), Aonidiellaorientalis (Newstead) (Diaspididae), and Pinnaspis strachani (Cooley) (Diaspididae)are recorded as minor pests of the developing fruits of coconut. Coccophagus silvestriiCompere (Aphelinidae), Scymnus sp. (Coccinellidae), Pseudoscymnus sp. (Coccinellidae)Telsimia ceylonica (Weise) (Coccinellidae), Cryptogonus bryanti Kapur (Coccinellidae)and Cybocephalus sp. (Nitidulidae) are recorded as their parasitoids and predators.These natural enemies are probably responsible for the control of these pests in thefield.doi: 10.4038/cocos.v5i0.2050COCOS 1987 Vol.5 39-42

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