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Role of Beneficial Insects

Lecture 2

Ghanashaym Bhandari
Entomologist (Scientist)
National Maize Research Program
PhD scholar, AFU
Contact: 9845063974
Email: bhandarigb_1978@yahoo.com
Role of Beneficial Insects As
• Pollinators
• Natural Enemies
• Weed Killers
• Soil Builders
• Scavengers
• Some Products from Beneficial Insects
• Production of Honey and Bee Wax
• Production of Silk
• Production of shellac
• Production of Cochineal
• Production of Tannic Acid
• Insects as Food
• Insects as Medicines
1. Pollination
• Insect-mediated pollination is an essential step in reproduction for the
majority of the world’s flowering plants, including numerous cultivated
plant species i.e. Sunflower, Cucurbitaceous vegetables, Alfalfa, Coriander,
Cardmom, Gingelly, Apple etc. Many crops depend on pollination for seed
production and fruit set to achieve good yield.

• Globally, an estimated 35% of crop production is a result of insect


pollination. It is estimated that 80% of the commercial food crops are
pollinated by honey bees.

• The Apis meliffera L. (European honey bee) is responsible for the pollination
servicesin majority of crops. Non-Apis bees also are important pollinators of
crops, especially for crops in which honey bees are inefficient pollinators
(e.g. alfalfa, squash).

• A few non-Apis species are managed for crop pollination. Examples of


managed non-Apis species include bumble bees, Bombus impatiens Cresson
(Hymenoptera: Apidae) managed for cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) and
greenhouse tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) pollination. Although bees
are considered the most effective insect-pollinator of most plant species,
other insects have been recognized for their contributions to pollination.
• Flower visiting flies (Diptera) have been documented as proficient
pollinators of several crops including carrot (Dacus carota L.),
mustard (Brassica spp.), leek, (Allium ampeloprasum L.), and almond
(Prunis dulcis).
• Weevil Elaeidobius kamerunicus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) plays
great role in pollination of Oil palm. Fig wasps are responsible for the
pollination in both Smyra and Capri Fig Plantation.
• 35% of food crop production worldwide depends on animal
pollinators, including honey bees.
• Of the 115 crop species that provide 90 percent of food supplies for
146 countries, 71 are bee-pollinated.
• The total economic value of insect pollination worldwide amounted to
$210 billion (€153bn) in 2005, which represented 9.5% of the total
value of agricultural production used for human consumption.3
Impact of honeybee (Apis cerana) pollination on fruit productivity

CROP INCREASE IN INCREASE IN INCREASEIN FRUIT SIZE REFERENCES


FRUIT SET (%) FRUIT WEIGHT (LENGTH, DIAMETRE) (%)
(%)
Apple 10 33 15, 10 Verma and
Dulta, 1998
Peach 22 44 29, 23 Partap et al.,
2000
Plum 13 39 11, 14 Partap et al.,
2000
Citrus 24 35 9, 35 Partap, 2000
Also, premature fruit drop
decreased by 46 percent,
increased juice by 68
percent and sugar contents
in juice by 39 percent
Strawberr 112 48 Misshapen fruits Partap, 2000
y decreased by 50 percent
Impact of honeybee (Apis cerana) pollination on vegetable seed
production

CROP INCREASE IN INCREASE IN INCREASE IN SEED


POD SETTING SEED SETTING WEIGHT (%)
(%) (%)

Cabbage 28 35 40

Cauliflower 24 34 37

Radish 23 24 34
Broad leaf 11 14 17
mustard
Lettuce 12 21 9

Source: Partap and Verma, 1992; 1994, Verma and Partap, 1993; 1994
2. Natural Enemies:
• Insect predators and parasitoids that attack and feed on other insects,
particularly on insect pests of plants are considered natural enemies.

• Through this type of feeding, natural enemies contribute to a type of


pest regulation referred to as natural biological control.

• Natural enemies responsible nearby 33% of the natural pest control in


cultivated systems.

• Beyond natural biological control, natural enemies can be manipulated


as part of integrated pest management programs through the
importation and establishment of exotic natural enemy species
(classical biological control), direct manipulation of populations
(augmentative biological control), and, more to this research, through
manipulation of their environment (conservation biological control)
Some parasitoids
Order Family Insect Feed upon
Hymenoptera Mymaridae Anaphes flavipes Egg parasitoids of
chrysomelidae
Braconidae Cotesia (Apanteles) Larval parasitoid of cabbage
glomeratus butterfly
Ichneumonidae Diadegma insulare Diamond back moth larva
Aphelinidae Encarsia formosa Whitefly
Encarsia inaron Whitefly
Trichogrammat Trichogramma sps Egg of the noctuidae,
idae Pyralidae and Plutellidae
Scelionidae Trissolcus basali Green sting bug

Diptera Tachinidae Athrycia cinerea Armyworm

Coleoptera Staphylinidae Aleochara bilineata Cabbage root maggot


Weed Killers
Weed Scientific name Biotic agent /
insects
Prickly pear Opuntia dilleni Dactylopius
opuntiee
Congress grass Parthenium Zygogramma
or Carrot weed hysterophorus bicolorata

Lantana weed Lantana camara Ophiomyia lantanae


Siam weed Choromoloena Pariuchaetes
odorata pseudoinsulata
Water fern Salvinia molesta Cryptobagus
singularis
Hymenoptera parasitic families
Tachinidae, 1/
Trichogra-
2%
Pteromalidae, 1/ mmatidae, 6/ Aphelinidae, 10/
Platyga-seridae, 2% 11% 18%
1/
2%

Mymaridae, 1/ Aphidiidae, 4/
9% 8%

Ichneumo- Aphidiinae, 1/
nidae, 1/ 2%
2%
Bethylidae, 1/
2%
Eupelmidae, 1/
2% Braconidae, 7/
Eulophidae, 1/ Encyrtidae, 1/ Dryinidae, 1/
13%
8% 17% 2%
3. Insects as Food
 Human ancestors were used to get nutrition from Insects. Even
today, the insects are being used by people as food in many
countries. High in protein and low in fat dried grasshopper are sold
in village markets of Mexico.

 Insects are mixed with flour to make tortillas and can be fried or
ground into meal.

 Wood-boring beetle’s larvae can be boiled or roasted over a fire.


And there is long list of nutritive edible insects e.g. Ants, bees,
termites, water grubs, caterpillars, flies, crickets, katydids, beetle
larvae, and nymphs of dragon fly are among the list.

 And in Thailand the pupa of silkworm are used as food for human
being.
[5] [6]
[7] [8]
4. Insects as Medicines
 Since ancient times Insects derived products have been widely
used in medicines (table).

 Maggots and honey showed healing property in chronic and post


surgical wounds.

 And honey is also being used to treat burns and combining with
bee wax it found curative for the dermatological disorders.

 Another product of honey is royal jelly is used to treat post


menopausal symptoms.

 A derivative of blister beetle Cantharidin being used in treating


Skin diseases5.
Some insects and their products as medicine
Insects / insect Uses
products
Maggots Wounds Healing
Honey Wounds Healing, skin
disease,
infection
Royal-jelly Post Menopausal
symptoms
Been and Ant Joints pain
venom
Propolis Infection
Canthiridine Skin Diseases
5. Environmental indicators