Insects associated with wine from raffia palm (Raphia hookeri) in Alor, Nigeria
The insects associated with palm wine from raffia palm (Raphia hookeri) were studied in three villages in Southeastern, Nigeria for four weeks. The insects were sieved out after 24 hours from each 10 litres of raffia palm. Gas chromatography was used to analyse the raffia palm wine after 24 hours. The daily collection of the insects lasted for 28 days between February and March, 2008. The results showed that as the number of days increased the concentration of glucose and fructose decreased with alcoholic content increasing at varying pH and temperature. A total of eight insect species made up of seven genera represented by seven families – Formicidea, Apidae, Drosophilidae, Sarcophagidae, Calliphoridae, Nitidulidae and Curculronidae were obtained. There was a preponderance in the collection of Camponotus maculatus, Maycodrosophylla sp. and Lepidoptera larvae in all the site with C. acvapimensis and Apis mellifera L. collected in fairly large numbers from all the sites (villages). There was also preponderance in the collection of Diptera larvae, even though they were collected from only one village Ide. Sparsely collected insect species from Ide village included Sarcophaga tibialis Macq, Auchmeromyia senegalensis, and Brachypeplus sp. (as a singleton). Cryptarcha sp. was found only in Ide and Okebuonye villages while Rhynchophorus phoenicis was collected in all the villages. The significant difference in the collection of Mycodrosophilla sp. in the three villages were traced to variability in the movement of the conspecifics and habitat heterogeneity while the significant difference in the collection of Diptera larvae was attributed to differences in habitat use, differences in food resource and availability, and environmental heterogeneity. The factors responsible for the recovery of insect species from raffia palm wine were traced to foraging activities on palms, accidental dropping into palm wine gourd, olfactory response of species, pestiferous activities of species, palm pollination, use of incision points on palm stems and inflorescence as food and oviposition resources, and the role of raffia palms in the life history of species.