Title: MUCUNA DEERINGIANA (BORT) MERR. VS. THE CORM WEEVIL, COSMOPOLITES SORDIDUS GERMAR (COLEOPTERA: CURCULIONIDAE) IN PLANTAINS
Salazar, Amparo - UNIV. OF PUERTO RICO
Ortiz, Juan - UNIV. OF PUERTO RICO
Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 14, 2004
Publication Date: December 30, 2005
Citation: Salazar, A., Pantoja, A., Ortiz, J. 2005. Mucuna deeringiana (bort) Merr. vs. the corm weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in plantains. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 89(3-4):201-210 (2005)
Interpretive Summary: The root corm weevil (BRW) is the most important pest of banana worldwide. Growers had limited success in combating BRW through intensive use of broad-spectrum insecticides and systemic insecticides are not available. However, chemical control is not a viable option for most Caribbean farmers because of low prices combined with the high costs of products and spray equipment, not to mention lack of expertise in handling toxic insecticides. Reliance on chemical control incurs economic, environmental and health costs and may cause resurgence and secondary pest outbreaks. Furthermore, carbofuran, a widely used insecticide for BRW control will be removed from the market. Clearly, alternative management strategies are required. The use of cover crops as Mucuna deeringiana, have promising results in vegetable pests. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of M. deeringiana on C. sordidus establishment and damage to plantains.
The effect of the legume, Mucuna deeringiana, on Cosmopolites sordidus population dynamics and damage was studied in two planting systems: intercropping and mucuna as green mulch before establishing the plantain. The relationship between C. sordidus adult density and larval damage was also studied. The presence of M. deeringiana affected the incidence of C. sordidus. The data suggests that C. sordidus adults are attracted by M. deeringiana, but additional studies are needed to better understand the relationship between the legume and the insect. The presence of M. deeringiana did not affected plantain height, stem diameter, or sucker production if the legume is eliminated four months after planting. However management practices to establish and cultivate the legume increased production costs. Although, C. sordidus population densities were low during most of the year, a high population density was recorded from November to January. A second population explosion was recorded between June and August. The highest insect densities recorded was 3.5 insects for trap.