Mango seed weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and premature fruit drop in mangoes.
The effect of infestations of mango seed weevil, Sternochetus mangiferae (F.), on premature fruit drop of mangoes was investigated. Mango fruits ('Haden') of equal size were collected both off the ground and from the tree at four times during the season (June-August). If weevil-infested fruit were more prone to dropping than uninfested fruit, the prediction was that a higher infestation rate would be found in fruit on the ground compared with fruit on the tree. Average fruit weight was used as an indicator of fruit maturity. The seed infestation rate was significantly higher in fruit collected off the ground compared with fruit collected from the tree in 38 g and 79 g (early-season) fruit but not significantly different in 207 g (midseason) and 281 g (late season) fruit. The age distribution of weevils and the number of insects in infested fruits were similar for ground and tree fruits on all dates. Results suggest that mango seed weevil infestation can increase fruit drop during early fruit development.