Population dynamics of insect pests on Loofah, Luffa cylindrica Mill., (Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae), cultivars in Peshawar
Walija Fayaz, Imtiaz Ali Khan
Insect pests pose heavy threat to loofah crop worldwide. For efficient management of insect pests, detail study of its population dynamics is utmost important. The present study was carried out at the New Developmental Farm (NDF) of The University of Agriculture, Peshawar in 2014. Four loofah cultivars, i.e. Peshawar local, Chikni (India local), Agro (India hybrid) and Malik were sown separately in May, 2014 and replicated three times. Overall mean density of aphids was non-significantly higher (0.28 aphids leaf-1) on Chikni and lower (0.21 aphids leaf-1) each on Peshawar local and Agro. Overall mean density of the thrips was significantly higher (1.41 thrips/leaf) on Peshawar local and Malik (1.40 thrips/leaf) and lower (1.26 thrips/leaf) on Agro. Overall mean density of the fruit fly was significantly higher (1.08 flies/pest) on Malik and lower (0.83 flies/fruit) on Peshawar local and Chikni (0.84 flies/fruit). Overall mean percent infested fruits were highest of 84.15% for Peshawar Local and lowest of 55.11% for Agro. Mean yield of loofah fruit was significantly higher (19100 kg/ha) for Agro. On the basis of the above results cultivar Agro is recommended to the growers. Results of the present investigation may be utilized in developing a sustainable pest management strategy against insect pests of loofah in the agro-ecological system of Peshawar.