Identification and assessment of insect pests causing fruit drop on Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck and their management was carried out in Benue State, Nigeria. A survey on the level of citrus fruit drop in the state was conducted through a semi-structured questionnaire administered to citrus farmers in the citrus producing zones A and B of the state. Three local government areas (LGAs) were randomly selected from each zone and fifteen citrus farmers from each LGA giving a total of ninety farmers. Pest identification was done through fruit culture experiment carried out in College of Agronomy Teaching and Research Farm, University of Agriculture, Makurdi in October 2014 and 2015. The experiment was a 2 x 3 factorial in a completely randomized design with four replications. Ten naturally infested orange fruits from each variety in each zone were weighed and placed in each plastic rearing box with dimension 39 cm x 27 cm x 26 cm containing sterilized moist soil securely covered with 1mm mesh net for pupation and adult insect emergence. Emerged adults were preserved for later identification. Experiment on the effect of mass trapping for the control of fruit flies was conducted in three farmers’ orchards in Aliade, Gwer East LGA of Benue State from September to November, 2014 and 2015 respectively. The experiment was a 3 x 3 factorial in a randomized complete block design replicated four times. Twelve sampled citrus trees were randomly selected in each orchard. Experiment on the effects of oviposition punctures on shelve life of sweet orange was conducted in the Department of Crop Production Laboratory, University of Agriculture, Makurdi. The experiment was a 2 x 3 factorial in a completely randomized design with four replications. The two factors were fruits and varieties as factors A and B respectively. Despite the fact that majority (86.67 %) of citrus farmers experienced citrus fruit drop in their orchards, 88.5 % of them did not know the cause of the drop. However, 47.78 % and 34.44 % of them rated citrus fruit loss to fruit flies as serious and very serious respectively with only 17.78 % as not serious. Fruit fly species identified from citrus fruit culture were: Bactrocera invadens (Drew), Ceratitis capitata (Weid) and Dacus bivittata (Biggot). B. invadens was the most abundant species and accounted for 63.70 % in Washington navel and 63.10 % in Valencia in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The varieties showed no significant difference (p>0.05) on the abundance of C. capitata and D. bivittata in 2014. In 2015 however, Ibadan Sweet variety showed significant difference (p<0 .05="" abundance="" i="" of="" on="" the="">C. capitata
(28.30 %) compared to other varieties. The highest percentage fruit damage was recorded in week 12 in the untreated orchard in 2014 (4.40 %) and 2015 (4.91 %) compared to mass trapping method where 2.45 % and 2.90 % were recorded in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The varieties had no significant influence(p>0.05) on the percentage fruit damage except in weeks 6, 11 and 12 of 2014 and weeks 10, 11 and 12 of 2015 where Valencia variety significantly (p<0 .05="" 1.96="" 2014="" 2015.="" 2015="" 21.25="" 3.19="" 3.29="" 3.32="" 3.46="" 3.68="" abundant="" and17.88="" and19.00="" and="" benue="" by="" citrus="" compared="" damage="" days="" delayed="" farmers="" flies="" fruit="" fruits="" had="" highest="" i="" ibadan="" in="" influenced="" loss="" most="" navel="" non-infested="" of="" oviposition="" p="" percentage="" punctures="" rated="" respectively.="" rot="" serious="" significantly="" state="" study="" sweet="" the="" therefore="" these="" to="" valencia="" varieties="" various="" was="" washington="" were="">B. invadens. The use of diammonia phosphate and protein hydrolysate attractant in mass trapping control method significantly reduced fruit damage to sweet orange; meanwhile, Ibadan sweet variety resisted fruit damage more than Valencia and Washington navel varieties while non-infested Valencia fruits significantly delayed fruit rot.

Title page
Table of Contents
List of Tables


Literature Review

Materials and Methods

Conclusions and Recommendations


Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) is a tropical to semi-tropical evergreen, small flowering tree, growing to about five to eight metres (5 m-8 m) tall (Umesh, 2009). Oranges are classified into two: sweet and sour orange. Sweet orange is one of the important fruit crops of the world, occupying third position among the sub-tropical fruits (Tariq et al., 2007) and the second largest by production volume next to banana (FAO, 2006; Mohammed, 2013). Oranges probably originated from south-East Asia and were cultivated in China by 2500 B.C. (Nicolasi et al., 2008). Today it is grown almost all over the world as a source of food for humans because of its high nutritional values, source of vitamins and other uses (Etebu and Nwauzoma, 2014). Citrus is widely cultivated in tropical as well as sub-tropical African countries. Whereas fresh fruit for the market is produced preferably in sub-tropical climate (South Africa and Mediterranean climate e.g. Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya), citrus for juice is predominantly produced in tropical climates probably because of the possibility of higher sugar content.(Mohammed, 2013).

Government policy on the promotion of citrus production in Africa as reported by Mohammed, (2013) is quite encouraging as the sector has got attractive and multiple social and economic advantages. It is one of the most important commodities in tropical Africa being a source of foreign currency, raw material for agro-industries and source of employment (Mohammed, 2013). Apart from the above benefits, citrus are the main source of important phytochemical nutrients and for long have been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties (Etebu and Nwauzoma, 2014). Other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as soluble and insoluble dietary fibers are known to be helpful in reducing the risk of cancers and many chronic diseases like arthritis, obesity and coronary heart diseases (Crowel, 1999; Liu et al., 2000; Djousse et al., 2004).

Adewale et al. (1996), reported that citrus is one of the most important and among top ten widely cultivated fruit crops in Nigeria. The production of citrus in Nigeria is more concentrated in the Guinea and Sudan Savanna zones of the country (Olaniyan, 2004) with Benue State giving the highest annual production of the commodity (Avav and Uza, 2002).

Citrus species are attacked by many pests and diseases incurring expenditures worth one hundred and sixty million USA dollars to avoid what sometimes can develop into total loss (Parra et al., 2004). Some of the arthropods that are harmful to this crop include: mite species, fruit flies, scale insects, aphids, etc. (Parra et al., 2004).

Fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) are the world’s worst pest of fruits (Heaven, 2006). They are present in most countries and attack many types of fruits as well as fruiting vegetables, ornamentals and nuts. Feeding by fruit fly larvae (maggots) damage the fruits internally causing premature ripening, dropping and rotting of the fruits. Up to 100 % of the fruits may be damaged by fruit flies when infestations are not controlled (Heaven, 2006). It is globally estimated that direct and indirect losses caused by fruit flies is over two million USA dollars per annum (Christiane et al., 2009). Umeh et al. (2008) reported that there has been a lot of neglect of the fruit fly menace for a long time in Africa and consequently, huge resources running into millions of USA dollars are constantly being lost. Therefore, studies about fruit flies are mandatory in all the countries in which fruit production is commercially explored since these insects are the key pest in the fruit plantations.

Fruit flies apart from causing losses in horticultural produce across the world are a major quarantine concern for most countries (Benard et al., 2011). With the increasing globalization of trade as reported by Stanway et al. (2001) and the export promotion drive initiated by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is a serious need for production of good quality fruits that meet the standard of export market and quarantine regulations. The above was confirmed by Oliver, (2002) and Stephenson et al. (2003) who reported that fruit flies pose a major quarantine concern which is currently monitored through regional surveillance programs. Stephenson et al. (2003) and Li et al. (2010) also reported that fruit flies cause direct losses to many fresh fruits and some vegetables resulting in adverse impacts on trade and economies of many countries. Mohammed et al. (2012) also reported that fruit flies seriously affect the production and exportation of various fruits especially Mango and Citrus......

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