Flight to Light Response of Red Pumpkin Beetle (Aulacophora africana Weise) to Differently Coloured Light-emitting Diode and Incandescent Bulb Lights
Red pumpkin beetle (Aulacophora africana Weise) is an important defoliator and vector of pathogens to its numerous crop hosts. Control had largely been by synthetic insecticides with their attendant consequences on man and the environment thus necessitating scientific studies on environmental-friendly management strategies. The experiment was conducted in the Research Farm of Federal University Wukari in the month of May 2019 with the aim of evaluating the attractiveness of A. africana to Light-emitting diode (LED) and Incandescent Light bulb colours. Five colours (red, yellow, green, blue and white) were used for the study. Each colour light was properly projected on 2 metre vertical screen (made of white polyethene) placed one meter above the ground. A setup without bulb served as the control. The light traps were arranged in a completely randomized design (CRD) in 6 replicates and ran simultaneously for six hours (1800 to 2400hrs). The pumpkin beetles attracted were collected in tubs containing soapy water. A. africana collected were counted and recorded according to bulb type and colour. Samples were identified at the Insect Museum of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Among the Incandescent bulbs, White colour was most attractive to A. africana (4.30±0.38) while red attracted the least (0.71±0.01). Among LED bulbs, Blue was most attractive (3.99±1.01) while Red also attracted the least (0.78±0.03). Overall, LED attracted more pumpkin beetles than Incandescent bulb even though Student Newman Keul’s test indicates that the difference between them was due to random variation (p = 0.16). Correlation and regression analyses indicated increase in insect attraction with increased light intensity. The results, therefore, suggest that white Incandescent or blue LED bulb colours can be incorporated into insecticidal light traps to suppress their population/attract them away from host plants or fixed into ordinary light traps to harvest the insect for scientific studies.
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