0945 Date palm farming practices in relation to red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), infestation in the Gulf region of Middle East

Tuesday, November 18, 2008: 12:25 AM
Room A6, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Khalid Alhudaib , College of Agricultural & Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia
Abdulaziz M. Al-Ajlan , College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia
Abdallah Ben Abdallah , National Date Palm Research Centre, Hofuf, Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia
J. R. Faleiro , Independent Red Palm Weevil Consultant, Goa, India
Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L. is the most important cash crop cultivated by countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in the Middle East which account for nearly 30 per cent of the global date production. Since, the mid nineteen eighties the crop has been threatened by Red Palm Weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) and has been identified by the FAO of the United Nations as a ‘category-1’ insect pest of date palm in the Gulf. High seasonal activity of RPW in the region as noticed from pheromone trap captures is between April to May and again from October to November. However from the weevil management point of view the first peak (April-May) is important as most of the eggs laid by female weevils during this period hatch into damage inflicting grubs, while most of the eggs laid during the second seasonal peak are caught in the winter and fail to hatch.

RPW usually attacks young date palms below the age of 20 years, with most infestations recorded in the age group of 5-10 years in the Gulf. Often wounds /injuries to the palm predispose young palms to attack by RPW. Gravid and fertile adult female weevils get attracted to injuries on palm for egg laying, which hatch into grubs that bore into the palm.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.34200