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Discovery of, and studies on, Pareuchaetes pseudoinsulata (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) in southern Nigeria

  • Osariyekemwen Uyi Uyi (a1), Ikponmwosa Nathaniel Egbon (a2) and Igho Benjamin Igbinosa (a1)

Abstract

The moth Pareuchaetes pseudoinsulata Rego Barros, whose host plant is the invasive alien plant Chromolaena odorata (L.) King and Robinson, was recently discovered in Uson (6° 14′ 30.77″ N, 6° 04′ 41.37″ E), Evbuabogun (6° 15′ 39.33″ N, 5° 38′ 58.29″ E) and Ekae (6° 15′ 34.90″ N, 5° 37′ 19.75″ E) villages in southern Nigeria after its first release as a biological control agent in that country in 1972. The moth seemed to become more abundant as the rainy season progressed. Studies on some aspects of its biology and behaviour were conducted both in the laboratory and in the field. Females laid eggs on the undersides of C. odorata leaves and on the walls of rearing cages. Female pupae were significantly (P < 0.001) larger than the male ones. Also, adult female wingspan was significantly (P < 0.001) longer compared with that of the males. Adults lived for an average of 4.8 ± 0.01 days and they were active at night, when there was good light intensity. Observations on the behaviour and some aspects of the biology and behaviour are discussed.

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