Do Weaver Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Marks Affect Mango Internal Quality and Storage Life?

Renkang Peng, Keith Christian

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    Abstract

    In implementing the integrated pest management mango (Mangifera indica L.) program using weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina F.) as a major component in the Northern Territory of Australia, we received a number of questions from farmers and extension officers asking whether weaver ant marks reduce internal fruit quality and induce fruit rot, which is economically important. However, this issue has not been investigated. Soluble sugar content in fruits with and without weaver ant marks and observations on the storage of fruits with the ant marks were recorded in 2002 and 2003. The sugar contents were, in general, higher on the side of the fruit with a relatively large area of ant marks than on the side with a smaller area of ant marks, irrespective of whether fruits were exposed to the sun or not. The field experiment showed that sugar content was generally higher in the treatment with weaver ants plus soft chemicals than in the insecticide treatment. For the storage of fruits bearing weaver ant marks, no signs of diffuse rot from any ant marks were observed, but fruit skin without the ant marks developed a considerable number of dark open lenticels, most of which developed to rot marks and patches. These results suggest that weaver ant marks are positively correlated with internal fruit quality, do not induce fruit rot and can be used as an indicator of better fruit quality and safety. � 2013 Entomological Society of America.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)299-304
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
    Volume106
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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