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Migration potential of the banana weevil

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The banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a major pest in banana (Musa spp.) growing areas. The weevil is known to be relatively sedentary and closely associated with its host plant but little is known about the species' ability to migrate between banana fields and in nonhost habitats.

Mark–recapture experiments were conducted to assess the weevils' migration potential, possible differences between the sexes, and the relative attractiveness of pseudostem and pheromone baits.

One thousand two hundred marked weevils were released in the nonhost habitat at five distances (5, 10, 20, 40 and 70 m) from fresh pseudostem, and from pitfall traps baited with 45 mg of sordidin.

Two hundred males and 200 females were marked and released at five distances (5, 10, 20, 40 and 70 m) from the pheromone traps.

Distance and distance/bait interactions had a significant effect on recaptured weevils (binary logistic regression). The two baits were almost equally attractive to weevils in the range 0–10 m, whereas the pheromone was more attractive in the range 10–100 m.

Distance, bait and distance/bait interactions had a significant effect on the time elapsed from release to recapture (regression with life data) but the pattern observed was not consistent.

There was no significant difference between males and females with respect to distance or time elapsed from release to recapture.

The results obtained in the present study show that the migration potential of the banana weevil is greater than previously reported. This should be taken into account when new banana fields are established with clean planting material.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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