Incidence of blossom midge, Contarinia maculipennis Felt on jasmine (Jasminum sambac L.) and its natural enemies in Tamil Nadu.
Jasmine blossom midge (Contarinia maculipennis Felt Cecidomyiidae, Diptera) was found to be the serious pest posing severe threat to flower yield. Field surveys indicated the presence of the pest in the surveyed region in varying intensity with maximum incidence in Madurai (34.27%), Ramanathapuram (33.62%) and Tirunelveli (33.19%) respectively. Coccinellid predators like Cheilomenes sexmaculata, C. transversalis, Scymnus sp., C. septumpunctata, Brumus suturalis, Illeis cincta and Chilocorus sp. were present in the jasmine ecosystem with a mean population of 3.1 per plant. Neuropteran predators, Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi and Mallada boninensis were found with a mean population of 2.2 per plant. A wide range of preying mantises and spiders with a mean population of 3.8 and 4.3 per cent respectively was present. A dipteran predator, Systasis dasyneurae played a vital role in natural suppression of the pest. Native weeds and flowering plants like Parthenium hysterophorus, Rosa sp., Nerium oleander, Vernonia cinera, Datura metal, Lantana camara, Tagetus erecta, Ipomea carnea, Helianthus annus and Coriandrum sativum provide nectar to the adult stages of the predators in jasmine ecosystem.