Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2019)
Monitoring arthropods fauna associated with sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Varieties used in cut flower trade industry in South Florida, USA
Author(s): Fazal Said, Catharine Mannion, Hussain Ali, Fazal Jalal, Muhammad Imtiaz, Muhammad Ali Khan, Sayed Hussain
Abstract: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is a profitable cash crop in the southern and eastern states of United States of America mainly for the production of edible oils, biodiesel as well as cut flower for ornamental purposes. Field experiment was conducted during spring season 2014 at Tropical Research and Education Centre (TREC) of The University of Florida at Homestead to monitor different arthropods fauna on four different sunflower cultivars i.e. Sunrich Lemon, Sunbright, Sunrich Orange and Russian Mammoth. Basic purpose of the study was to document different arthropods fauna associated with the crop. Among all four varieties of sunflower, three were cut flowers whereas Russian Mammoth was oilseed variety. While monitoring, no attempt was made to collect all the available individuals, only the representative species of each individual was collected since the basic purpose of the study was to report all the existing arthropod species on sunflower in the area. During the investigation, several pests, natural enemies and pollinators were identified. Several pests were identified during the course of experiment. The major pests were Agalia nielsoni and Agalia albidula (Ciacadidae), Bemesia tabacii (Aleyrodoidea), Aphis Spp. (Aphididae) and Halictus brachtatus (Miridae) blackbird (red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus L.; common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula L. and certain blackbird species). Other pests included stem weevil (Cylindrocopturus adspersus LeConte) and head clipping weevil (Haplorhynchites aeneus Boh.). In addition to pest species, natural enemies were also reported which mostly comprised of ladybird beetle, green lacewing, praying mantis, syrphid flies, and some species of spider fauna.