Effect of Physical Characters on Susceptibility of Chilli pepper Fruits, Capsicum spp. to Infestation by Atherigona orientalis Schiner (Diptera:Muscidae)

OGBAlU, O.K.

ABSTRACT: Some physical characters (nature of calyx, fruit texture, colour of fruits at maturity and type of mesocarp) were assessed for their relatives roles in the
susceptibility of five varieties of two species of chilli’ peppers, Capsicum annum and C. frutescens to infestation by the pepper fruitfly, Atherigona orientalis Schiner, under laboratory conditions (25 – 31°C and 73 – 88% R.H.). Higher numbers of eggs were deposited on pepper varieties with open and raised calyx, yellow colour, and fleshy mesocarp than on those with tight and closed calyx, red colour or non-fleshy mesocarp.
Development was also shorter in Nsukka yellow than in the other varieties: Developmental periods of A. orientalis also differ significantly between these
morphological characters of the fruits. Higher percentage of adults, emerged from Nsukka yellow or other’ varieties with open and raised calyces than from varieties with closed calyces. Availability ‘of nutrients provided by the fleshy mesocarp to the immature stages probably induced red and promoted more rapid growth and development of the pepper fruitfly.

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