BREEDING HABITATS OF PLATYNECTES SP. NOV. (COLEOPTERA: DYTISCIDAE), PREDATORY TO STEGOMYIA ALBOPICTA AND STEGOMYIA AEGYPTI IN THE RUBBER PLANTATIONS OF KERALA, INDIA.
*Adil Bashir, Saima Syed, N. Pradeep Kumar, Sheikh Afaq Gowhar
The breeding habitats of Platynectes sp. nov. was found in the rubber plantations located at foothills in the Western Ghats of Kerala. Platynectes beetle was also found to be prevalent in (Latex Collection Containers) LCCs, the key breeding habitats of Stegomyia mosquitoes in the rubber plantations. Rubber plantations are criss-crossed by streams which are maintained for irrigation purpose of the plantations. The natural habitat of the Platynectes sp. nov. was found to be these irrigation streams/pools. During the monsoon season these streams and pools have abundant of fresh water. Different variety of aquatic plants were abundantly growing in theses streams and Epiphyllum angulier was found to be the commonest aquatic plant in these streams. Mostly the beetles were hiding under the leafs of these plants. Streams and pools have cool and high oxygenated water, during the monsoon season in the rubber plantations of Kerala. Platynectes beetles were found in both the pools and streams during the months, April to October (pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons). However in summer season these beetles were found to be less prevalent in the streams and pools. Platynectes beetles invadesthe rubber latex collection containers fixed to the trunks of the rubber plantations. The beetles flew from its original breeding sites of streams and pools to LCCs for feeding St. albopicta larvae present in these LCC cups. The beetles were found prevalent in LCCs from May to December months.
Keywords: Platynectes sp. nov, Stegomyia albopicta, Stegomyia aegypti, Breeding habitats, Rubber Plantations of Kerala.
[Full Text Article]