Damage to roots of clusterbean by Protaetia terrosa adults
Cetoniids have wide adaptability and variations on account of late evolution. In the large and polymorphic genus Protaetia, a wide variability with regards to habits and foods exists. Lefroy (cf. Arrow, 1925) recorded P. alboguttata from the roots of Ficus religiosa and Panicum spontaneum. Various Protaetia spp. adults attack the ears of millets in Rajasthan and Gujarat (India) and P. cineraria (Kraatz) damages the leaves, shoots and flowers of vegetables in Karnataka. P. neglecta adults feed on the leaves and fruits of apple and peach (Nair, 1976). Very little is known about diversities and capabilities of cetoniids causing damage to crops. Since 1992, Protaetia terrosa (Gory & Percheron) adults have been observed to cause an unusual damage to the roots of clusterbean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) at Jodhpur and Pali in the arid region of Rajasthan
In nature, the adults are active only during daytime. They emerge from soil fairly late after sunrise, sometime after 10.00 h in the morning, by making fresh emergence holes if the previous ones are covered up. The beetles, when disturbed, feign death and show no sign of movement for 20 to 50 seconds in bright sunshine. In shade, the disturbed beetles remain motionless for 2 to 5 minutes. The beetles are good fliers and can take long continuous flights, remaining air borne for as long as 5 minutes during mid day in grassland of Cenchrus ciliaris. The beetles in flight are usually seen up to third week of September. Grasslands in arid region constitute major niche for various root grubs during July - September. After a flight, beetles were also seen to alight on the plants of jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana). A beetle was seen entering soil near the roots of eggplant (Solanum melongena).
- Arrow, G. J. 1925. The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Today and tomorrow's Printers and Publishers, New Delhi (1976 edition). Xiv + 322 + 1 plate.
- Lefroy, H. M. 1909. The Indian Insect Life. Today and Tomorrow's Printers and Publishers, New Delhi (1976 edition).
- Nair, M. R. G. K. 1976. Insects and Mites of Crops in India. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi (1986 edition). 408 pp.
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