The team of CENRO Rene G. Abordo of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Kabankalan, Negros Island Region assessed the 10-hectare NGP site of mangrove plantation where approximately 200 sq. m. was infested by Poecilips fallax Eggers last February 1, 2016 in Barauga I Poblacion, Hinoba-an, Negros Island Region. The team was composed of CENRO Rene G. Abordo, For. Ascension Santocildes, FEO Ricky Lademora, FEO George Tolentino, Marine Biologist David Dehaan, MENRO Joseph Benedict Velasco, Forest Ranger Antonio Caspillo and Jessie Talaban.
The infestation was discovered on January 20, 2016 which caused the mortality of the saplings of Bakauan lalaki and babae or Rhizophora apiculata and Rhizophora mucronata. It was observed that the stem of the one year old propagules of the said species was the most affected part and its leaves totally fell off. Tunnels were discovered inside the stems created by a tiny beetle pest called Poecilips fallax Eggers.
According to Neil G. Gigare, Science Research Specialist of BCWERC Region 6, this type of insect belongs to Phylum Coleoptera, Scolytidae or beetles. Its life cycle is between 39 to 53 days. The adult is dark brown in color and measures about 3 mm in size. They bore in through the bottom of the seedlings and emerge through small holes that are visible from the outside. The beetles lay eggs as they travel through the propagule and later on hatch into larvae. This usually leads to withering off of the propagules as beetles hollow out the inside. He added that the occurrence has two possible causes. It was either this specific area in Hinoba-an or the planting materials were infested.
Mr. Gigare suggested the checking of the source of planting materials because of the probability of infestation in the area where the planting materials were taken. He affirmed that there is no chance of survival for the infested Bakauan species. “The beetles have several reproductions in a year and different developmental stages can take place. These pests will not stop until they ate everything in the plantation.”, he said. Thus, he confirmed that, the Poecilips fallax Eggers stays inside the propagules and could not be treated even by pesticides. He suggested that the infested propagules must be pulled out and buried on the mud in order to eliminate the pests. Lynly Florence B. Palma-BCWERC