Trap Efficacy

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  • Trap within field cage set up at PIC January 3; 5 live beetles
  • Trap checked January 10; 4 alive 1 dead; none escaped; changed beetles
  • Trap checked January 18; 3 dead; 2 alive; collected beetles

Effect of Abiotic Factors on the Efficiency of Rhinoceros Beetle Pheromone, Oryctalure in the Oil Palm Growing Areas of Andhra Pradesh Kalidas, P

National Research Centre for Oil Palm, Pedavegi-534 450, India

Managing the rhinoceros beetle using aggregation pheromones as one of the tools of IPM is commonly practiced in all the oil palm growing areas. The aggregating pheromone, oryctalure (Sime RB pheromone) is responsible for effective trapping of beetles. The total beetles trapped are a function of the longevity of the pheromone sachet and the emergence of beetles (depending on amount of breeding material available). High day temperatures (maximum temperatures) exceeding 33.5oC affected the longevity of the pheromone and ultimately reduced the beetle catch. Slight increase in temperature reduced the efficacy of the lure. Both relative humidity and night temperatures did not cause any effect on the pheromone activity. Rise in day temperatures could cause fast evaporation of the pheromone that ultimately affected the longevity of the material. Relative humidity had positive response in attracting the beetles into the trap but the existing maximum temperatures nullified the effect of the former in increasing the beetle catch. The bucket trap using vanes was not effective in complete trapping of the attracted beetles allowing them to skip. These skipped beetles increased the per cent infestation on the surrounding palms of the trap. Methodology on trapping the skipped beetles needs to be developed. However, the longevity of the lure varied according to the prevailing atmospheric conditions with longer field life in winter and shorter in summer. Weather conditions of a given area played a direct impact on the number of beetles trapped. Though the pheromone and the trap were effective in trapping the beetles, but high temperatures could reduce the effectiveness. Cost benefit ratio for the pheromone trap and the number of beetles trapped was found uneconomical in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh under the existing atmospheric conditions. However, these can be utilised for dissemination of the other biological agents particularly the virus, Baculovirus oryctes.

Keywords: Oryctalure, rhinoceros beetle, coastal areas, Andhra Pradesh, oil palm