Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Interspecific association of solanum whitefly, Aleurothrixus trachoides (Back), coccinellid predator, Axinoscymnus puttarudriahi Kapur and Munshi and ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) in Capsicum.

Abstract

The information on biological activity and species interaction in an ecosystem is essential to understand the mutualism and resource acquisition. A study was taken up to understand the interspecific association among whitefly, its predator and the associated ant species in Capsicum ecosystem. The whitefly was identified as invasive solanum whitefly, Aleurothrixus trachoides (Back), the coccinellid, which was predating on the whitefly as Axinoscymnus puttarudriahi Kapur and Munshi and the associated ant as Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius). Studies on spatial distribution of the pest, predator and ant revealed that the pest and the predator followed aggregate distribution in upper and middle leaves of the plant. A highly significant positive correlation was exhibited between the predator grub and the immature stages of the whitefly as confirmed by Chi-square test, which was evident throughout the plant. Tapinoma melanocephalum exhibited positive association with the pest only in the lower leaves of Capsicum. The non-significant association of T. melanocephalum with the coccinellid predator, indicated that the ant did not interfere with the performance of the predator. The significant positive association of the coccinellid predator larvae and adults with the immature stages of the pest throughout the plant indicated the predatory efficiency of A. puttarudriahi, which needs to be conserved.