Survivorship and development rates of banana weevils reared on excised plant material of different banana cultivars

Abstract

Host plant resistance is an important tool in the management of the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus (Germar). Although ovipositing females do not discriminate between resistant and susceptible cultivars, plants of resistant cultivars have smaller larval populations and sustain less damage in the field. These observations suggest that lower damage levels observed in resistant cultivars reflect larval success. This study was carried out to evaluate laboratory screening of banana cultivars as a rapid screening method for resistance to the banana weevil by determining the influence of cultivars on weevil survivorship, development duration and adult weight. Larvae were raised on corm pieces of two susceptible, three intermediate and four resistant cultivars, resistance categories having been determined from a previous field screening trial. The developmental period was prolonged in resistant cultivars. However, cultivars had less influence on survivorship and adult weight. Moreover, the ranking of survivorship did not correlate with resistance levels observed in the field. The implications of these findings for laboratory screening of cultivars for resistance to C. sordidus are highlighted.

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Correspondence to Gertrude Night.

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Night, G., Gold, C.S. & Power, A.G. Survivorship and development rates of banana weevils reared on excised plant material of different banana cultivars. Int J Trop Insect Sci 30, 77–83 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742758410000111

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Key words

  • host plant resistance
  • screening
  • survivorship
  • development duration
  • banana weevil
  • Cosmopolites sordidus