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Insect induced bud fall in cultivated hibiscus and aspects of the biology of Macroura concolor (Macleay) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)

Gough, N. and Hamacek, E.L. (1989) Insect induced bud fall in cultivated hibiscus and aspects of the biology of Macroura concolor (Macleay) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society, 28 (4). pp. 267-277.

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The influence of insect attack on bud fall and subsequent poor flowering in cultivated hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) was studied in cages and in the field in southern Queensland. Three species of Hemiptera (most importantly Aulacosternum nigrorubrum but also Nezara viridula and Tectocoris diophthalmus) caused some bud fall in 2 plantations studied. Adults of Macroura concolor suppressed flowering for long periods in spring and summer. Data from white funnel traps and counts in flowers showed that M. concolor was most active in these seasons. Methiocarb (0.75 g a.i./litre) reduced beetle numbers and increased flowering. When 15 or more adults of M. concolor occurred per bud (or flower) most buds fell and few flowers were produced, but when beetles declined to 10 or fewer many buds survived and widespread flowering occurred. Larvae fed in fallen buds and flowers and the mean duration of development of the combined immature stages was 14 days at 26 deg C. The preference of adults of M. concolor for pale coloured flowers was examined. Hibiscus plants produced most buds from December to June with lower numbers in winter and spring (July to November). Bud production in spring and early summer (September-December) varied greatly and probably contributed to poor flowering, however, even when large numbers of buds occurred very few flowers were produced because of the activities of M. concolor.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General)
Plant pests and diseases
Science > Entomology
Live Archive:19 Apr 2013 05:58
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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