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Journal of Applied Horticulture. 2000 publ 2001: 2(1): 39-43

Mango pollinators in Israel

Dag, A; Gazit, S

The Kennedy-Leigh Centre for Horticultural Research, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

Effective insect pollination is essential for good fruit set and yield in mango (Mangifera indica). Insects visiting mango bloom were collected for 3 years (1994-96) in 10 commercial orchards located in all major mango-growing areas in Israel. Forty-six distinct species or types (not identified to the species level) were found; most belonged to the orders Diptera (26), Hymenoptera (12) and Coleoptera (6). The following species played a significant role in mango pollination in most orchards: two blow flies (Chrysomya albiceps and Lucilia sericata); the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the housefly (Musca domestica). Found in only one or two orchards, in medium to large numbers, were: the hover fly Episyrphus balfeatus, the wasp Bembecinus tridens, and two beetles, Cantharis atropoveolatus and Omophlus syriacus. The effectiveness of 12 pollinators was assessed in one orchard. Blow flies were found to be as effective as the honeybee, whereas the housefly was less so. Yield of small caged 'Keitt' mango trees was minuscule (1 kg/tree), whereas open-pollinated trees carried a good crop of 61 kg/tree. The introduction of three pollinators, the honeybee, the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) and the housefly, resulted in higher yield.


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