Guruswamy Prabhakaran, Subhash Janardhan Bhore, Manikam Ravichandran
Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, AIMST University, Semeling, 08100 Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia.
Background: Synthetic molluscicides are routinely used in the control of apple snails (Pomacea spp of Ampullariidae family), the invasive rice pest. Molluscicidal bait is a strategic combination of food and toxicant to attract the target pests. However, baits are found to be feed deterrent due to snails’ own feed preferences in a paddy field. There is no specific feed formulation exclusively developed as the base carrier material for the development of molluscicidal bait for the apple snail (Pomacea maculata Perry). Further, there are limitations in evaluating the efficacy of a snail feed/bait formulation based on its attractiveness, palatability, and directional movement of snails with the existing experimental devices. Therefore, this study was aimed to develop an attractive and appetent feed formulation as a bait carrier material and also to design and develop a snail attractant tracking device (SATD) for evaluating the feed formulation precisely. Materials and Methods: Snails were collected from the snail-infested rice field located in Kedah, Malaysia. A glass aquarium tank of size 60 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm was physically partitioned to form four linear channels (tracks) using 5-mm thickness transparent perflex plastic sheets to develop SATD and snail feed formulations were evaluated with the help of it. Results: This study resulted in the development and evaluation of attractant feed formulations prepared with a combination of different types of carbohydrates and protein hydrolysates. Analysis of variance showed significant differences (P < 0.05) in the attraction and consumption of various types of feed formulations by the snails. Conclusion: The rice flour supplemented with 5% sugar, 15% wheat flour, and 0.5% fish meal showed a maximum attraction and effective consumption by snails (1.48 g/3 h) than the other tested feeds.
Keywords: Bait attractiveness, feed formulations, golden apple snail, molluscicides, rice.