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Effects of Eristalis tenax (Diptera: Syrphidae) Pollination on Characteristics of Greenhouse Sweet Pepper Fruits

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The pollinating effects of the drone fly, Eristalis tenax (L.), on greenhouse sweet pepper, Capsicum annuum L., were assessed by measuring fruit characteristics. Individual flowers were exposed to either no insect visits, a restricted number of visits, or a continuous exposure to flies during floral receptivity. A 5% increase in pericarp circumference was observed in fruits obtained from the continuously exposed flower group (18.2 ± 4.5 cm [mean ± SD]) compared with those from the non visited group (17.4 ± 3.6 cm). A shift toward a greater percentage of heavier and wider fruits was observed in both fly-visited flower groups. Fruit weight, circumference, and length were highly dependent on seed set and increased as a function of cumulative visit duration. Although the pollinating behavior of E. tenax on sweet pepper flowers is still unexplained, our results indicate that fly pollination has a significant positive impact on the physical characteristics of pepper fruits.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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