Pheromone for Trapping Red Palm Weevil
Rhynchophorus ferrugieneus (Red Palm Weevil) constitute a major pest of coconut,
sago, date, oil palms and other palms and has become severe problem in coconut
production in southern Asia, Melanesia, North Africa and even Southern Europe.
This insect produces a pheromone, which gives a specific sign to attract other
individuals of its species. This pheromone is isolated from the Red Palm Weevil
and synthetically made to monitor the presence of the insect or to trap the
insect in palm gardens. The active ingredient of the Pheromone is ferrugineol
(4-methyl 5-nonanol) which is available in crystal form is packed and sealed
in plastic dispensers. This plastic dispensers release the hormone 3 to 10mg
per day and last for six to seven months.
Use of Pheromone for trapping red palm weevil is an eco-friendly
method and has three distinct objectives. 1. To monitor weevil activity and
detect its presence if any, in pest free areas. 2. To mass trap weevils if
weevil population is high. 3. To assess the population levels of the weevil.
An experimental was conducted by Dept of Entomology (Kerala
Agricultural University, Vellayani in association with Bhabha Atomic Research
Centre, Mumbai to find out the most suited Pheromone lure under Kerala
conditions and to examine their field durability and showed that the Tripheron
supplied by GKFC out numbered other formulations in attracting the weevils.