Pollinators are rewarding for many wild and agricultural crop plants. The experiments were conducted in the agricultural field of Karad tehsil, Maharashtra, India. The present study concentrated on the diversity and species richness of nocturnal insect pollinators on Ridge gourd Luffa acutangula belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. The Ridge gourd plant is monoecious with a bunch of male flowers and solitary female flower. Anthesis happened in late evening hours (17.00-19.00) and flowers remained for 13 to 14 hours. A total of 830 insect pollinators were sampled from June 2020 to November 2020. Altogether 17 species of insect pollinators belonging to 7 families under 6 orders were recorded. Among the total number of species, the Lepidoptera was the dominant order comprising 11 species belonging to the single family Crambidae followed by Blattodea comprising 2 species belonging to 2 families Ectobiidae and Blattidae. Hymenoptera comprised 1 species belonging to family Formicidae, followed by order Orthoptera comprising 1 species belonging to family Gryllidae, order Diptera comprising 1 species belonging to the family Culicidae, followed by the order Coleoptera comprising 1 species belonging to the family Chrysomelidae. The Diaphnia hyalinata belonging to family Crambidae of the order Lepidoptera was the most dominant species and was followed by Chabula acamasalis. The nocturnal species imparted pollination services to agricultural crops. The study also observed fundamental mechanisms of plant and nocturnal insect pollinator interaction as well as floral scent and visual signals. The study can be baseline data for conserving and managing the best pollinators for increasing the yield of Ridge gourd.
Anthesis, Lepidoptera, Pollinator diversity, Ridge gourd, Species richness
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