Journal of
Entomology and Nematology

  • Abbreviation: J. Entomol. Nematol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9855
  • DOI: 10.5897/JEN
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 124

Full Length Research Paper

Insect larvae associated with dropped pomegranate fruits in an organic orchard in Tunisia

Mohamed Braham
  • Mohamed Braham
  • Laboratory of Entomology and Insect Ecology, University of Sousse, Regional Research Center of Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, 4042 Chott-Mariem Sousse, Tunisia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 10 February 2015
  •  Accepted: 17 March 2015
  •  Published: 30 March 2015

Abstract

In an attempt to find out the reasons of pomegranante fruit drop due to insect attacks, regular collection of all fallen fruits beneath trees of nine different varieties was done during the fruiting season from August 2013 to December 2013 in an organic pomegranate orchard in the Chott-Mariem region of Tunisia. Apparently heatlthy and cracked fruits were dissected in the laboratory to identify insect larvae found inside. Results indicate that fruits were attacked by three larvae insect species: the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera, Tephritidae), the carob moth, Ectomyelois ceratoniae Zeller (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae) and the pomegranate butterfly, Virachola livia Klug 1834 (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Two different insect larvae can be found jointly inside fruits but no fruits were attacked by the three insect larvae together. All fruits varieties harbor the larvae of C. capitata whereas E. ceratoniae larvae were present in eight of nine varieties. Varieties numbered 1, 8 and 9 were free from V. livia larvae attacks and hence can be considered as resistant cultivars. With respect to Lepidoptera larvae attacks (E. ceratoniae and V. livia), we can assume Variety 1 as resistant. Nevertheless, more research was needed to corroborate these results.
 
Key words: Pomegranate, fruit drop, Ectomyelois  ceratoniae, Virachola livia, Ceratitis capitata.