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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences

Year: 2000  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 2251 - 2252

Melittophily and Aphidophagy Found on Sunflower (Helianthus annuus Linnaeus) (Compositae) Genotypes

Muhammad Aslam and Naheed Akhtar Awan


Sunflower plants also attract tremendous number of insects of beneficial nature (predators, parasites and pollinators including honey bees). To see which beneficial insects are attracted to which genotypes and to what extent, observations were made on different genotypes of sunflower and the bee pollinators (melittophily) and aphid feeders, Coccinella spp. (aphidophagy) found on different genotypes were recorded. The highest number of honey bees (Apis spp.) was attracted to Suncross-24 and the lowest to SF-187. On SMH-9706, SMH-9707, Parasun-1, SF-187 and Hysun-33, the number of honey bees attracted was the lowest. It was concluded that SMH-9707 attracted the highest number of lady bird beetles (Coccinella spp.).The genotypes SMH-9706, Parasun1, SF-187, Hysun-33 and Suncross-24 attracted statistically equal number of lady bird beetles. Hysun-33 had the highest number of aphids (Aphis gossypii) and on all other genotypes except SMH 9707, the number of aphids was intermediate. SMH 9707 had significantly lower number of aphids than Hysun-33. The lady bird beetles were found feeding on aphids on different genotypes of sunflower. These beneficial insects helped regulate the population of insect pests and also helped in the pollination of sunflower plants.

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