The Effect of Meteorological Factors on the Population Dynamics of Melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coq.) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in the foot hills of Himalaya
An exhaustive approach had been undertaken to investigate the incidental pattern of Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coq.) (Diptera : Tephritidae) round the year with a view to formulate a sustainable management technique against the pest. Significant variation in occurrence of the pest was recorded during the period of investigation. Trapping of male melon fly was started from 01.10.2006 and continued up to 30.09.2008 by using sex attractant, Cuelure. During warm and rainy months (June, July, August, at 25-37oC) the flies were more active as compared to that of dry and winter (December, January, February 8-23oC) months. Significant positive correlation (r) of fly incidence was noted with minimum (r= +0.7596) and maximum temperature (r= +0.7376), whereas temperature gradient correlated negatively (r= -0.4789) with fly incidence. Negative correlation of fly incidence was also recorded with maximum humidity (r= -0.4249) and humidity gradient (r= -0.5481) and positive (r= +0.4366) with the minimum. Rainfall and sunshine hour per day showed positive (r= +0.4367) and negative (r= -0.3123) correlation with the fly incidence respectively. Regression equations of fly incidence with all the meteorological parameters were also determined. Results of the present investigation may be utilized in chalking out sustainable pest management strategy in the agro-ecological system under consideration.