Aphids, crop, disease, insects, virus.
Objective: To examine the diversity of winged aphids in papaya (Carica papaya L.) crops and to determine the population fluctuation of vector species of the papaya ringspot virus (PRSV).
Design/Methodology/Approach: We captured winged aphids by placing eight Moericke-type water traps (four green and four yellow). We conducted weekly samplings to locate plants with ringspot symptoms, record the abundance of vector species of PRSV, and document the progress of the disease.
Results: We collected a total of n=694 individuals of 20 species, seven of which fell in the green traps and 19 in the yellow traps. The green traps registered the highest diversity value; however, the yellow traps captured the largest richness. Six of the captured aphids are reported as PRSV transmitters. The analysis of the population fluctuation of the vector species determined that A. spiraecola recorded two population peaks during the study: the first at week three, with 93 captured individuals; and the second (and highest) at week ten, with 316 individuals. PRSV was observed in the week seven in nine diseased plants. Full contagion (100%) was reached by week 44.
Study Limitations/Implications: Developing strategies for preventing and controlling pest species and disease vectors crucially depends on the correct choice of methods to capture and monitor insect populations in crops.
Findings/Conclusions: We can infer that vector species conduct short-distance migrations within the plantation. This inference is supported by the increased number of diseased plants.