Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research
Title: Attraction of pollinators to atemoya (Magnoliales: Annonaceae) in Puerto Rico: A synergetic approach using multiple nitidulid lures Authors
Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 6, 2012
Publication Date: February 11, 2013
Citation: Jenkins, D.A., Cline, A., Irish, B.M., Goenaga, R.J. 2013. Attraction of pollinators to atemoya (Magnoliales: Annonaceae) in Puerto Rico: A synergetic approach using multiple nitidulid lures. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106:305-310. Interpretive Summary: Atemoya is a delicious fruit with great economic potential. However, due to low fruit set and yield caused by insufficient pollinator visits, this fruit has failed to take off commercially in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. In this study we identified the primary visitors to flowers of atemoya in Puerto Rico, species of beetles that have not been previously recorded as visiting atemoya flowers. We also demonstrate that combining commercially available lures attracts one of these visitors and another potential pollinator in a dose-dependent manner. This work lays the foundation for horticultural practices that will increase the yield of atemoya and lead to increased acreage of this valuable fruit.
Technical Abstract: Atemoya, a cross between Annona squamosa and A. cherimola (Annonaceae), has the potential to be a major fruit crop in tropical and subtropical areas. A major setback to production throughout the world is low fruit-set due to inadequate visits by pollinators, typically beetles in the family Nitidulidae. We identified the visitors to atemoya flowers in an orchard in Puerto Rico and used reverse McPhail traps to monitor the attractiveness of two commercially available lures for Nitidulidae. The most common visitors to atemoya flowers were an unidentified Europs sp. (Coleoptera: Monotomidae), followed by Loberus testaceus (Coleoptera: Erotylidae), neither of which have been previously reported as visitors to the flowers of Annona spp. The commercial lures attracted low numbers of beetles when used separately, but attracted a higher number of beetles, especially Carpophilus dimidiatus (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) and Europs sp., when used in combination. This attraction increased with dose, with the doses assayed (0-4 lures), and decreased over time, with more than 50% of trap captures occurring in the first week and no beetles caught after five weeks. The results are discussed as they pertain to increasing fruit set and possibly fruit size and shape in atemoya.