The white grub (Holotrichia sp: Scarabidae) is an important subterranean pest damaging root systems of several crops. Experiments conducted during I985 and I986 showed that at least I4 species of birds picked up the grubs exposed during ploughing operation. The important bird predators were mynasAcridotheres tristis (Linnaeus) andAcridotheres ginginianus (Latham), crowsCorvus splendens (Vieillot),Corvus macrorhynchos (Sykes), drongoDicrurus adsimilis (Hodgson) and cattle egretBubulcus ibis. The birds were found to reduce 45 to 65% grub population during 3 subsequent ploughings. The plant stand of second crop raised in bird exposed field was higher in experimental plot compared to the control. The number of birds attracted to the plough was not consistent with the density of grubs exposed but oh many extraneous factors. Factors affecting the extent of bird predation were presence of insectivorous birds in the surroundings, proximity to their breeding sites and timing of ploughing. White grub control by birds is economically cheaper and environmentally safe compared to the chemical control.
Natural regulation bird predation white grub insectivorous birds agroecosystem