Host Preference of Red Pumpkin Beetle (Aulacophora faveicollis) Lucas (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera) among different Cucurbits
Laila Khan, Maqsood Shah, Amjad Usman
Studies on the host preference of red pumpkin beetle Aulacophora foveicollis Lucas on four cucurbits species and the effect of temperature and relative humidity on its population under field conditions were conducted along with the impact of physical leaf characters on its population abundance during April to July 2014. Bottle gourd, cucumber, sponge gourd and squash were sown during 2014 from April to July in Peshawar valley. Out of four cucurbit species, cucumber and squash were found susceptible while bottle gourd was found to be resistant and sponge gourd was found to be moderately resistant in terms of population occurrence of the red pumpkin beetle. There occurred an increase in the number of beetle population from 1st till 5th week of the cropping season after which the population gradually declined. The peak infestation was recorded at a temperature of 38 °C and a relative humidity of 67% after which a decrease in population occurred with the rise in temperature and fall in relative humidity. It was also found that non significant negative correlation existed between the red pumpkin beetle population and trichome density and leaf area of the cucurbits and significant positive correlation occurred between the red pumpkin beetles and trichome length of cucurbits.