2021(2)      April - June, 2021

Pollinator Community of Sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) and its Role in Crop Reproductive Success

Wali Muhammad1,2*, Shafqat Saeed3, Ammad Ahmad4, Muhammad Yasir Ishfaq5 and Muhammad Mahtab Anjum6,

1Pest Warning and Qualitsy Control of Pesticides, Agriculture Department, Government of Punjab, Pakistan

2Department of Entomology, Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

3Institute of Plant Protection, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef (MNS) University of Agriculture, Multan 60000, Pakistan

4Department of Entomology, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan

5Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan

6Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan


A study was carried out to identify the pollinator community and its role in pollination of sunflower at the research farm of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. The community of pollinators was composed of 14 insect species including eight bee species (Hymenoptera), four fly species (Diptera) and two butterfly species (Lepidoptera). Bees were the most abundant floral visitors. Apis dorsata Fabricius, Xylocopa sp and Megachile sp. were the most abundant among the bees with the highest visitation frequencies i.e. 1.33, 0.07 and 0.06 individuals per head per minute, respectively. The abundant flies included Eristalinus aeneus Scopoli and E. arvorum Linnaeus. The peak visitation activity of pollinators was recorded between 08:00 to 10:00 hrs. Although there was no significant difference in number of seeds per head produced in insect pollinated (open) as compared with, without insect pollinated (caged) heads. However, insect pollination significantly increased the number of healthy seeds, 100 seed weight and germination percentage. As A. dorsata Fabricius was the major pollinator of sunflower, future studies should focus on its conservation for better crop production.

Keywords: Sunflower, Pollination, Pollinator community, Reproductive success

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