Abstract

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.

Keywords: insects, plagues, peach palm, Bactris gasipaes, heart of palm.