POLLINATOR DIVERSITY AND RELATIVE ABUNDANCE IN RIDGE GOURD IN MID ALTITUDE OF MEGHALAYA
Pollination plays an important role in the reproduction and fruit set for flowering plant communities. The yields of agricultural crops can be significantly increased through good management practices including effective pollination. Most gourd flowers open at night and usually last only one night. Pollen viability in a newly opened male flower is about 92% but by the time it closes that same morning the viability will be 75% and by the next day it will be only. The present study was carried out in ridge gourd crop at Lowland Agronomy farm, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya. In our study, a total of 12 species were identified on ridge gourd flowers. Lepidopterans were the major floral visitors comprising of six species viz., Diaphania indica Saunders and Glyphodes bivitralis Guenee from Crambidae, Hippotion celerio L. from Sphingidae, Delias eucharis Drury and Pieris brassicae L. from Pieridae. It was followed by Dictyopterans viz., Mantis religiosa L. and Blatta orientalis L., hymenopterans viz., Oecophylla smaragdina Fab. (Formicidae), Coleopteran viz., Aulacophora foevicollis Lucas and Orthopteran viz., Hieroglyphus banian. Relative abundance was higher Lepidoptera (70.47%) followed by Orthoptera (9.52%) and Dictyoptera (8.31%). Hymenoptera (7.85%) and Coleoptera (5.81%). Mean foraging activity in ridge gourd was high for Diaphania indica started its foraging activity from 1800 h to 1830 h onwards (2.73 visitors/m2/5 minutes) and its peak activity was also observed at 1900 h (4.21 visitors/m2/5 minutes). After 1900 h its foraging activity slowly declined with 1.95 visitors/m2/5 minutes at 2000 h.
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