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Indigenous bugs help tackle invasive pest

Why In news?

Two types of ladybird beetles are among the three indigenous bugs found to be the biological weapons against a Caribbean ­origin enemy of The woolly whitefly.

More about the pest

  • Among the newest of 118 exotic pests troubling farmers in India, particularly fruit growers, is the woolly whitefly first described from Jamaica in 1896 and noticed in Florida, U.S. in 1909
  • ICAR’s National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources in Bengaluru had in 2019 reported the spread of the pest from the Caribbean island through transportation of infested seedlings.
  • That year, the pest was recorded from guava plantations in Kozhikode district of Kerala, Ramanagara, Mandya and Bengaluru Rural districts of Karnataka and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • a team of entomologists from the Centre for Plant Protection Studies at the Coimbatore based Tamil Nadu Agricultural University zeroed in on three indigenous bugs that can control the pest by devouring them
  • The entomologists found some indigenous bugs feeding on this whitefly in a guava orchard near Coimbatore. The bugs were collected and studied in the laboratory.
  • “Two of these indigenous predators were ladybird beetles of the Coccinellidae family and one was the green lacewing fly from the Neuroptera order
February 2023
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