The dimpling bug, Campylomma austrina Malipatil, has been recognised since 2002 as a serious mango pest in the Northern Territory, Australia. To fully understand the damage the bug causes and its relationship with ants, field experiments were conducted in five mango orchards in the Darwin area from 2001 to 2003 along with laboratory rearing trials. The latter revealed that the dimpling bug sucked sap mainly from the ovary of the flowers. As the ovary ripened, each puncture resulted in a black pimple on the skin of the marble-sized fruit (>5 mm in diameter). All of the most heavily damaged marble-sized fruits (<10 pimples/ fruitlet) dropped from the trees. A field survey and field experiments showed that marble-sized fruit damage levels on trees bearing abundant weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius, were similar to those protected by chemical insecticides, however both suffered less damage than trees bearing fewer or no weaver ants or black ants, Iridomyrmex sp. We propose that the weaver ant is an efficient bio-control agent of the dimpling bug, and to limit the bug damage, high levels of weaver ant populations are required in mango orchards.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Pest Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|