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The monitoring of rice pests and their predators in pesticide untreated and treated rice fields was conducted at the southern of Thailand. Twenty-two species in 15 families and 6 orders of rice pests were sampled from untreated rice field. For treated rice field, 22 species in 14 families and 5 orders of rice pest were collected. Regardless of treatment type, dominant species and individual number of rice pest varied to physiological stage of rice. Lepidopteran pests had highest infestation during the vegetative stage of rice growth, while hemipteran pests composed of hopper species (Hemipetra: Auchenorrhyncha) and heteropteran species (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) were dominant groups during the reproductive stage and grain formation and ripening stage of rice growth. In contrast, dominant species of predator did not change throughout rice growing season. There were 35 species in 25 families and seven orders and 40 species in 29 families and seven orders of predators collected from untreated and treated rice field, respectively. Major predators of both rice fields were Micraspis discolor (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Tetragnatha sp. (Araneae: Tetragnathidae) and Agriocnemis pygmaea Rambur (Odonata: Agrionidae). The population dynamic of predators were not related with rice pest population in both treatments. However, the fluctuation of population pattern of rice pests in the untreated treatment were more distinctly synchronized with their predators than that of the treated treatment. There were no significant differences in the total number of rice pest and predator between two treatments at vegetative and reproductive stages of rice growth. Untreated rice field had a higher population number of predator and a lower population number of rice pest than that of treated rice field during grain formation and ripening stages. These results indicated the ago-ecosystem balance in rice fields could be produced through minimal pesticide application, in order to allow the natural balance between pests and their predators to be restored and maintained.

Citation

W Rattanapun. Diversity and population dynamics of pests and predators in irrigated rice fields with treated and untreated pesticide. Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences. 2012;77(4):601-9

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PMID: 23885426

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