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J. E. Peña, J. L. Sharp, and M. Wysoki, Editors
CAB Publishing, Wallingford, U.K.
2002, 430 pp., hardcover
The editors of this excellent book are to be congratulated for the effort they made to find expertise in tropical and subtropical fruit entomology and coordinate the efforts of 28 contributing authors. An attractive orange-red cover with a superb drawing of a Passiflora flower, foliage, and fruit flanked by a butterfly and a leaf-footed plant bug makes the reader immediately want to investigate the contents.
In the introduction, Jorge Peña, one of the editors, examines the importance of tropical fruits, giving production statistics of 15 countries and six tropical fruits. He reviews IPM, biology, and ecology for tropical areas as related to arthropods. He also reviews sampling and monitoring, economic thresholds, chemical and biological control, attractants and pheromones, host plant resistance, and cultural practices and pollination as the basis for the material covered in the following chapters.
The book comprises 13 chapters, including the introduction. Six of the chapters deal with major tropical and subtropical fruits: avocado, banana, citrus, mango, papaya, and pineapple. Three chapters are devoted to less common tropical fruits: guava, lychee or longan, and passion fruit. One chapter deals with “Pests of Minor Tropical Fruits”, and the last chapter covers “Quarantine Treatments for Pests of Tropical Fruits”. Numerous references are given at the end of each chapter.
The book has 430 pages, as well as 16 plates with excellent color pictures of insect pests, damage, and a few pollinators; there are 93 color photos. More than 40 pages each are devoted to banana, citrus, pineapple, and avocado. Mango, papaya, the Annonas, guava, lychee/longan, and passion fruit are each covered in 20–30 pages, and minor fruits and quarantines are covered in 16 pages. An extensive, well-organized, 23-page index makes searching for information about crops and pests an easy task. Contributing authors have all made a good effort to discuss not only pests and damages, but also sampling and monitoring, thresholds, biology of pests, biological control, pest predators and parasites, cultural and chemical control, and pheromones and attractants.
The importance of many pests of tropical fruits is emphasized. Sometimes, after looking at the tables on guava fruit flies (almost 50, 15 of them very important) and other pests (more than 160, but fortunately with only two of these considered of importance in some countries), one wonders how is it possible to grow, for example, a healthy guava tree and eat a good guava fruit. Unfortunately, the potential of any of the above pests being introduced into a country is very high, as discussed in the last chapter on methods to avoid pest introduction, eliminate the need for treatments, and make it possible to import fruit from pest-infested countries, provided these protocols are met.
The book is helpful for researchers, entomologists, extension agents, horticulturists, regulatory governmental agencies, growers and persons involved in insect scouting, and companies involved with rearing predators or parasites.
Knowledge of pests of native and introduced tropical fruits has become extremely important. This book is an excellent means of increasing this knowledge and an exellent reference for persons involved with tropical fruits in any way.
Miami-Dade County Extension Office
18710 SW 288th Street
Homestead, FL 33030
Vol. 50, No.1, Spring 2004