INSECT DIVERSITY IN AN EXPERIMENTAL VINEYARD IN THE STATE OF RIO GRANDE DO NORTE, BRAZIL

ABSTRACT: The objective of this work was to survey the entomofauna in an experimental vineyard (Vitis spp.) in the semiarid of the State of Rio Grande do Norte (RN), Brazil. The survey was conducted from November 2012 to January 2013 at the Rafael Fernandes experimental farm of the Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido (UFERSA), Mossoró, RN, in an area of 2,500 m2, cultivated with the Italia, Niagara Rosada and Isabel grapevine varieties. The insect collection was performed weekly during the grapevine flowering and fruiting periods, through a passive method, using four Pitfall traps, and an active method, collecting insects from the tree canopies (branches, leaves, flowers and fruits) using entomological net, tweezers and brushes. In the passive collection, 1,598 insects from five orders and 25 families were collected, especially from the Formicidae (83%), Dolichopodidae (5.9%) and Cicadellidae (1.9%) families, which were the most abundant. In the active collection, 288 insects from five orders and 14 families were collected, especially from the Vespidae (160 specimens) and Apidae (78 specimens) families, which were the most abundant, representing 82.7% of the total collected insects. The greater diversity (13 families) and greater number of insects collected (186 specimens) were observed in the grapevine variety Isabel.