THE CACAO FLOWER VISITOR INSECTS DIVERSITY AND THEIR POTENTIALITIES AS POLLINATORS
The cacao flower is beautiful, but small in size, unique in another way, and it has no smell. There a reason that bees do not attracted for pollinating the cacao flowers. Study on the diversities of flower visitor insects and their potentialities as pollinators was conducted on smallholder cacao plantations at Gumawang-Puthat village, Pathuksubdistrict of Gunungkidul in October 2012 to January 2013. First, field observations on 10 open flowers per plant and 10 plants per period. Second, we placed yellow paper sticky-traps on flowering sections of cacao trunks, collecting insects that became entangled. The results showed that eight species of insects visited cacao flowers. The largest populations occur in the rainy season. Aphid Toxopteraaurantii, mealy bug Planococcuslilacinus, black ants (Dolichoderusbituberculatus), Crematogaster ants and ngangrang (Anoplolepislongipes), were common cacao flower visitor, but not all role as pollinators. Aphid was potential as pollinator for self compatible clones. Mealy bug infested as pest on cushion and stalk of flower. Black ants, Crematogaster ants, and ngangrangas symbionts of aphids and mealy bug and also no act as pollinators. Drosophila flies as flower visitors, but only outside sepal and not into the petal sac and style. Only midges Cecidomyiid and Ceratopogonid were potential as pollinators, due to the body size, character of morphology and activity in the flower were proportionate as pollinator.
Keywords: Insect diversity, visitor and pollinator, cacao
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