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Volume 5, Issue 4      October - December, 2017

Foraging behavior of pollinators leads to effective pollination in radish Raphanus sativus L.
 

Syed Usama Zameer, Muhammad Bilal, Muhammad Imran Fazal, Asif Sajjad*

Department of Entomology, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences,

The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan

 Abstract

To study the pollinator community of radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and the best pollinators for radish production in terms of their foraging behavior, an experiment was performed at the research farm of University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. A total of 771 individuals of insects were observed, 51 percent of which were the flies (Diptera) and remaining 49 percent were the bees (Hymenoptera). The most abundant species was Episyrphus balteatus followed by Andrena sp., Apis florea, A. dorsata, Eristalinus aeneus and E. laetus. The maximum visitation rate was recorded in case of E. balteatus and Andrena sp. The maximum stay time was recorded in case of E. aeneus and E. laetus. The maximum number of pollen grains was deposited on stigma by A. dorsata (196.32 pollen grains) followed by Andrena sp. (155.47), E. laetus (143.47), A. florea (108.47), E. aeneus (102.74) and E. balteatus (62.63). Only A. florea and E. balteatus exhibited nectar robbing behavior i.e. 86% and 28% nectar robbing events, respectively. All the pollinators except A. florea came in contact with stigma and fed either for pollen or for both nectar and pollen. Apis florea mostly (82% of its visits) fed for nectar alone. All the bees preferred feeding on both nectar and pollen while all the flies preferred feeding on pollen alone. Conserving and enhancing these pollinators may boost the R. sativus production in Pakistan.

 Keywords: Raphanus Sativus, Pollinator Community, Pollination Behavior, Effective Pollinators

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