Phytophagous insects in peach palm (Bactris gasipaes K.) grown for heart of palm production.
An evaluation of
the populations of phytophagous insects present in a variety
trial of peach palm for heart of palm productions, was carried
out in a locality of the Caribbean region of Costa Rica. Nine
species of insects were identified: a. stem borers: Metamasius
hemipterus y Rhynchophorus palmarum; b. defoliators:
Conocephalus sp., Neoconocephalus sp., Schistocerca pos.
nitens y Saliana pos. severus, and c. foliar rasping insects:
Demotispa pos. pallida y Cephaloleia sp. In addition, the
nests of the ant Solenopsis geminata associated with the basal
section of the stem were counted. None of those species
reached a level of economic importance and their populations
did not show important changes throughout the time of the
study. But, during those 12 months the relative abundance of
the insects was higher in the spineless varieties than in the
spiny one, which is the traditional commercial variety. Some
of those insects could become a plague under unusual
environmental changes which stress the plants and favor their
multiplication. For that reason it is convenient to monitor
them to avoid surprises.