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Diversity and seasonal variation of insect pests of Jatropha in Gaborone, Botswana

  • Masego Masukujane (a1), Tidimalo Coetzee (a2), Robert Bob Ngwanathebe (a1), Yudai Ishimoto (a3) (a4) and Kinya Akashi (a3)...

Abstract

Jatropha curcas L. is a stem-succulent shrub that produces high concentrations of seed oils that are convertible into biodiesel. In this study, the incidence of four insect pests on Jatropha, Strabala rufa, Gnathamitermes tubiformans, Pempelia morosalis, and Acanthoplus discoidalis was recorded over three years in a semi-arid climate in Gaborone, Botswana. The occurrence of these insects was concentrated in the summer season from October to April, while lower numbers of all species were found in May as the temperature began to reduce towards the winter season, suggesting that insect pests of Jatropha exhibit a unique temporal pattern in this region. A considerable variation was observed among Jatropha accessions regarding the insect pest occurrence, indicating a vast difference in the susceptibility to insect pests among Jatropha accessions.

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