Seasonal incidence of major sucking pests of pomegranate and their relation with weather parameters in India.
An experiment was conducted to know the incidence of major sucking pests of pomegranate and their relation with weather parameters. A fixed plot survey conducted at five locations revealed the presence of pomegranate aphid (Aphis punicae Passerini), thrips (Rhipiphorothrips cruentatus Hood; Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood; Anaphothrips oligochaetus Kerny), whiteflies (ash whitefly, Siphoninus phillyreae Haliday; spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus disperses Russell), mealy bug (Planococcus lilacinus (Cockrell)) and mites (eriopid mite, Aceria granati Canestrini; false spider mite, Tenuipalpus granati Sayed). The peak activity of pomegranate aphids was observed during the second fortnight of December. The highest infestation of thrips was noticed in the second fortnight of March. Population density of whiteflies was maximum during the second fortnight of February and the first fortnight of March. Nymphs and adults of mealy bug made early appearance during February and caused maximum damage during March and April. Incidence of mites started from January and reached a peak during the first fortnight of March. Simple correlation studies made between the incidence of sucking pests and weather parameters revealed that morning relative humidity showed a positive and significant relationship, while afternoon relative humidity showed a negative and significant relationship with incidence of all sucking pests like aphids, thrips, whiteflies, mealy bugs and mites. To develop pest forecast models, correlation studies were made between weather parameters at two weeks lead time and population of sucking pests. Morning relative humidity recorded positive and significant correlation with all sucking pests and mites at two weeks lead time. If the morning relative humidity increases then the population of sucking pests could be higher during the next two weeks.