Oecophylla longinoda (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Lead to Increased Cashew Kernel Size and Kernel Quality. uri icon

abstract

  • Weaver ants, Oecophylla spp., are known to positively affect cashew, Anacardium occidentale L., raw nut yield, but their effects on the kernels have not been reported. We compared nut size and the proportion of marketable kernels between raw nuts collected from trees with and without ants. Raw nuts collected from trees with weaver ants were 2.9% larger than nuts from control trees (i.e., without weaver ants), leading to 14% higher proportion of marketable kernels. On trees with ants, the kernel: raw nut ratio from nuts damaged by formic acid was 4.8% lower compared with nondamaged nuts from the same trees. Weaver ants provided three benefits to cashew production by increasing yields, yielding larger nuts, and by producing greater proportions of marketable kernel mass.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017