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Exchange of Natural Enemies of Lepidofteran Cereal Stemborers Between African Regions

  • F. Schulthess (a1), N. A. Bosque-Pérez (a2), A. Chabi-Olaye (a1), S. Gounou (a1), R. Ndemah (a3) and G. Goergen (a1)...

Abstract

Difficulties of identification of natural enemies of cereal stemborers for ‘redistribution’ in Africa are discussed. Tritrophic level studies on wild and cultivated habitats of borers and beneficial species are needed to judge the impact of a natural enemy species in the cropping system. Areas with low pest pressure which are climatically favorable for pest development may be selected for study. Based on the results of various countrywide surveys to map the relative importance of Sesamia calamistis Hampson, Eldana saccharina (Walker) and Busseola frisca (Fuller) in western Africa, recommendations are given for sites for tritrophic level studies. It is hypothesised that because maize is not always present in the field and because of its high susceptibility, natural biological control has to come from wild habitats. This emphasises the importance of the knowledge on the wild host-plant range. Survey results complemented with oviposition and life-table studies in the laboratory showed that, rather than being reservoirs for pests, most wild grass species act as trap plants causing mortalities of 100%. A comparison of light trap catches with pupae found on wild hosts and the scarcity of known wild hosts in areas with high pest pressure suggest gaps in our knowledge of the range of host plant species. Based on comparison of known natural enemy complexes in East and West Africa, the scelionid egg parasitoid Telenomus isis and an East African strain of the braconid larval parasitoid Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron) are proposed for redistribution against B. fusca and S. calamistis, respectively. Telenomus isis has never been reported from East Africa whereas G sesamiae is common in East and southern Africa and scarce in western Africa, suggesting that G sesamiae is probably not adapted to S. calamistis and B. fusca in this region.

Les difficultés d'identification des ennemis naturels des foreurs des tiges de céréales pour leur ‘redistribution’ en Afrique sont discutées. On a besoin d'études du niveau tritrophique sur les habitats sauvages et cultivés des foreurs et des espèces utiles pour juger de l'impact des espèces d'ennemis naturels dans le système cultural. Des régions à basse pression de ravageurs qui sont climatiquement favorables au développement de ces derniers, pourraient être choisies pour l'étude. Sur la base des résultats des différentes enquêtes à travers le pays pour dresser une carte de l'importance relative de Sesamia calamistis Hampson, Eldana saccharina (Walker) et Busseola fusca (Fuller) en Afrique de l'Ouest, des recommandations ont été formulées quant aux sites pour des études du niveau tritrophique. Une hypothèse a été avancée selon laquelle, du fait que le maïs n'est pas toujours présent dans le champ et à cause de sa haute susceptibilité, le contrôle biologique naturel doit provenir des habitats sauvages. Ceci met l'accent sur l'importance de la connaissance sur la circonscription territoriale de la plante hôte sauvage. Les résultats de l'enquête complétés par des études sur la ponte et la table de survie au laboratoire ont montré qu'au lieu d'être des réservoirs pour ravageurs, la plupart des herbes sauvages agissent comme des pièges, causant des mortalités à 100%. Une comparaison des captures au piège lumineux avec les pupes trouvées sur les hôtes sauvages et la rareté des hôtes sauvages connus dans des régions à haute pression de ravageurs suggèrent qu'il y a des lacunes dans notre connaissance sur la circonscription territoriale des espèces de plantes hôtes. Sur la base de la comparaison des complexes d'ennemis naturels connus en Afrique Orientale et Occidentale, le scélionidé parasitoïde de oeufs Telenomus isis et un biotype Est Africain du braconidé parasitoïde des larves Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron) sont proposés pour redistribution respectivement contre B. fusca et S. calamistis. Le fait que Telenomus isis n'a jamais été rapporté en Afrique Orientale tandis que C. sesamiae est commun en Afrique Orientale et Australe et rare en Afrique Occidentale suggère que probablement C. sesamiae n'est pas adapté à S. calamistis et B. fusca dans cette region.

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Exchange of Natural Enemies of Lepidofteran Cereal Stemborers Between African Regions

  • F. Schulthess (a1), N. A. Bosque-Pérez (a2), A. Chabi-Olaye (a1), S. Gounou (a1), R. Ndemah (a3) and G. Goergen (a1)...

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