Biology and management of the banana weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus germar) in the socioeconomic and agroecological context of the indigenous territories of Talamanca, Costa Rica
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The banana weevil is a pest on bananas and plantains throughout the tropics. No published studies exist on the banana weevil in smallholder banana and plantain systeMON within the Bribri-Cabécar Indigenous Territories in Talamanca, Costa Rica. Alternatives to pesticides in plantain and improved pest management in organic banana to increase profitability of agroforestry systeMON are needed. We conducted a livelihoods analysis of cacao agroforestry systeMON comparing cacao to plantain and organic banana. Existing production data was integrated with data from household interviews to identify factors in the decline of cacao agroforestry systeMON. We also conducted a rapid rural appraisal with plantain and organic banana producers. Weevil damage decreased by 33% in farMON with traps, and did not decrease in control farMON. There was no reduction in trap catches, indicating that damage reduction can occur without reduction of weevil populations. We evaluated movement patterns of banana weevils in response to host plant volatiles at 1 and 2 m distances in the field. Weevils were tagged, released, and relocated using harmonic radar. Weevils oriented to host plant volatiles at 1 m but not 2 m, and displayed positive orthokinesis at both distances.