Hostname: page-component-59f8fd8595-klmmf Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-23T00:03:28.383Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

A Review of the Introduction and Establishment of Cotesia Flavipes Cameron in East Africa for Biological Control of Cereal Stemborers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2011

W. A. Overholt
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
A. J. Ngi-Song
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
C. O. Omwega
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
S. W. Kimani-Njogu
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
J. Mbapila
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
M. N. Sallam
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
V. Ofomata
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P. O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya


Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is an exotic stemborer of cereal crops in Africa which invaded the continent from Asia earlier this century. In addition to Ch. partellus, several indigenous stemborers are found in Africa. In 1991, Cotesia flavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a gregarious endoparasitoid of stemborers in Asia, was introduced into Kenya for biological control of Ch. partellus. Laboratory studies revealed that the parasitoid could successfully parasitise not only the target stemborer, but also two native stemborers that occur sympatrically with Ch. partellus in some locations. Interbreeding studies demonstrated the Co. flavipes would mate with a native congener, Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron), but no female offspring resulted from these matings. Investigations on competition between the two Cotesia spp. indicated that when Ch. partellus was the host, Co. flavipes appeared to be a superior parasitoid. Releases of Co. flavipes were made in 1993 in Kenya. Recoveries in 1994,1995 and 1996 demonstrated that the parasitoid was firmly established in two regions of Kenya and in northern Tanzania. Preliminary observations suggest that the parasitoid is causing greater mortality to stemborers in southwestern Kenya than in the coastal area.


Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) est un exotique foreur de tiges des cultures céréalières en Afrique qui envahit le continent en provenance d'Asie au début de ce siècle. En plus de Ch. partellus, plusieurs foreurs de tiges sont rencontrés en Afrique. En 1991, Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), un grégaire endoparasitoïde des foreurs de tiges en Asie fut introduit au Kenya pour la lutte biologique contre Ch. partellus. Des études en laboratoire révélèrent que le parasitoïde pouvait parasiter avec succès non seulement les foreurs cibles mais aussi deux foreurs en occurrence sympatrique avec Ch. partellus dans quelques localités. Des études sur élevage mixte ont démontré que Co. flavipes pouvait s'accouplert avec un congénère indigène, Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron), mais ces accouplemets ne donnèrent pas naissance à une progéniture femelle. Les investigations sur la compétition entre les deux espèces de Cotesia montrèrent que lorsque Ch. partellus était l'hôte, Co. flavipes était un parasitoïde supérieur. Des lâchers de Co. flavipes furent effectués en 1993 au Kenya. Les recouvrements de 1994, 1995 et 1996 montrèrent que le parasitoïde s'était fermement établi dans deux régions du Kenya et au nord de la Tanzanie. Des observations préliminaires suggèrent que le parasitoïde cause une plus grande mortalité chez les foreurs de tiges au sud-ouest que dans la région côtière du Kenya.

Copyright © ICIPE 1997

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Alam, M. M., Bennett, F. D. and Carl, K. P. (1971) Biological control o. Diatraea saccharalis (F.) in Barbados by Apanteles flavipes Cam. and Lixophaga diatraeae T. Entomophaga 16, 151158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Atkinson, P. R. (1979) Distribution and natural hosts o. Eldana saccharina Walker in Natal, its oviposition sites and feeding patterns. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists' Association 53, 111115.Google Scholar
Badilla, F., Solis, F. and Alfaro, D. (1991) Biological control of the sugarcane stem borer Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Costa Rica. Manejo Integrado de Plagas 2021, 39–44.Google Scholar
Betbeder-Matibet, M. and Malinge, P. (1967) Un succes de la lutte biologique: Controle d. Proceras sacchariphagus Boj. Borer ponctue de la canne a sucre a Madagascar par un parasite introduit: Apanteles flavipes Cam. Agronomie Tropical 22, 11961220.Google Scholar
Bleszynski, S. (1970) A revision of the world species o. Chilo Zinchen (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Bull. Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. Entomol. 25, 101195.Google Scholar
Bordat, D. (1983) Mise au point de l'elevage de masse d'Apanteles chilonis Matsumura, 1912 et d'Apanteles flavipes (Cameron, 1891) (Hymenopteres Braconidae) sur trois lepidopteres pyralidae foreurs des graminees (Chilo zacconius Bleszynski, 1970; Chilo partellus (Swinhoe, 1884) et Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius,1794)) dansun objectif de lutte biologique. These. Universite des Sciences et Techniques du Langeudoc, Montpellier, France. 184 pp.Google Scholar
Bosque-Perez, N. A. and Mareck, J. H. (1990) Distribution and composition of Lepidopterous maize borers in southern Nigeria. Bull. Entomol. Res. 80, 363368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cheng, W. Y., Chang, C. H. and Wang, Z. T. (1987) Occurrence o. Cotesia flavipes Cameron (Hym: Braconidae) in autumn sugarcane fields. Report of the Taiwan Sugar Research Institute 117, 3141.Google Scholar
CIBC (19681972) Annual Reports of the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control.Google Scholar
Delattre, P. (1978) Conditions d'establishment et de dispersion en Guadeloup. d'Apanteles flavipes (Hym:Braconidae), parasite des Pyrales de la canne a sucre du genre Diatraea (Lep: Pyralidae). Entomophaga 23, 4350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Delobel, A. (1975a) Chilo orichalcociliellus Strand (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), foreur des tiges dusorgho et du maïs a Madagascar II. Premieres donnees biologiques. ORSTOM Series Biologie 10, 1116.Google Scholar
Delobel, A. (1975b) Une population hivernante d. Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera Pyralidae) sur la côte ouest de Madagascar. ORSTOM Series Biologie 10, 1723.Google Scholar
Des Vignes, W. G. (1981) Aspects of the biological control o. Diatraea spp. on sugar cane in Trinidad. Entomology Newsletter 18, 45.Google Scholar
Fuchs, T. W., Huffman, F. R. and Smith, J. W. Jr (1979) Introduction and establishment o. Apanteles flavipes (Hym: Braconidae) on Diatraea saccharalis (Lep.: Pyralidae) in Texas. Entomophaga 24, 109114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Girling, D. J. (1978) The distribution and biology o. Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and its relationship to other stemborers in Uganda. Bull, entomol. res 68, 471488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gupta, B. D. (1953) Résumé of work done under the insect pests cheme duringl 1946–47 to 1950–51. Indian Centre Sugarcane Commercialization, New Delhi. 111 pp.Google Scholar
Harris, K. M. (1962) Lepidopterous stem borers of cereals in Nigeria. Bull, entomol. res. 53, 139171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harris, K. M. and Nwanze, K. F. (1992) Busseola fusca (Fuller), the African maize stalk borer: A handbook of information. Information bulletin 33. ICRISAT Patancheru, India and CABI Oxon UK. 84 pp.Google Scholar
Ingram, W. R. (1958) The lepidopterous stalk-borers associated with Gramineae in Uganda. Bull. Entomol. Res. 49, 367383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kajita, H. and Drake, E. F. (1969) Biology o. Apanteles chilonisand A. flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), parasites of Chilo suppressalis. Mushi 42, 163179.Google Scholar
Kfir, R. (1992) Seasonal abundance of the stem bore. Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and its parasites on summer grain crops. J. Econ. Entomol. 85, 518529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kfir, R. (1994) Attempts at biological control of the stem bore. Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in South Africa. African Entomology 2, 6768.Google Scholar
Khana, K. L., Nigam, L. M. and Puri, V. D. (1957) Chilo tumidicostalis Hampson, a serious stem borer of sugarcane in Bihar. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. (B) 46, 7595.Google Scholar
Kimani, S. W. (1995) Biosystematics of the Cotesia flavipes complex (Hym: Braconidae), parasitoids of gramineous stemborers. PhD Thesis. University of Nairobi, Kenya. 191 pp.Google Scholar
Kimani, S. W. and Overholt, W. A. (1995) Biosystematics of th. Cotesia flavipes complex (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): Interspecific hybridization, sex pheromone and mating behaviour studies. Bull. entomol. res. 85, 379386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, C. S. (1970) Some aspects of the conservation of natural enemies of rice stem borers and the feasibility of harmonizing chemical and biological control of these pests in Australia. Mushi 44, 1523.Google Scholar
Lima-Filho, M. G., Riscado, M. and Barbosa, J. T. (1979) Behaviour of the sugar-cane borer. Diatraea spp. in the State of Rio de Janeiro during the 3 year period 1975–77. Anais da sociedade entomologica do Brasil 8, 257280.Google Scholar
Mathez, F. C. (1972) Chilo partellus Swinh., C. orichalcociliella Strand (Lep., Crambidae) and Sesamia calamistis Hmps. (Lep., Noctuidae) on maize in the Coast Province, Kenya. Mitteilungender der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft 45, 267289.Google Scholar
Mbapila, J. (1994) Laboratory life tables of Cotesia spp. reared at different temperatures on Chilo partellus, p. 31. In 1994 ICIPE Annual Report. ICIPE Science Press. 199 pp.Google Scholar
Mbapila, J. and Overholt, W. A. (1997) Oviposition, development and searching behaviour o. Cotesia flavipes Cameron and Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in relation to aestivating and non-aestivating Chilo spp. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in larvae in maize. African Entomology 5, 3539.Google Scholar
Meijerman, L. and Ulenberg, S. A. (1996) Identification of African stemborer larvae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae, Pyralidae) based on morphology. Bull. entomol. res. 86, 567578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mohyuddin, A. I., Mohamed, A. and Hamid, A. (1986) Biological and cultural control of sugarcane stem borers in the NWFP, pp. 251266. In Proc. 22nd Annu. Conv. Pak. Soc. Sug. Technol. Peshawar, 19–21 September 1986. Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists, Peshawar, Pakistan.Google Scholar
Moutia, L. A. and Courtois, C. M. (1952) Parasites of the moth-borers of sugar-cane in Mauritius. Bull. Entomol. Res. 43, 325359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moyal, P. (1988) Crop losses due to insects in the savannah area of Ivory Coast: A review. Trop. Pest Manage. 34, 455459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muthukrishnan, J. and Senthamizhselvan, M. (1987) Effect of parasitization b. Apanteles flavipes on the biochemical composition of Diacrisia obliqua. Insect Sci. Applic. 8, 235238.Google Scholar
Nagarkatti, S. and Nair, K. R. (1973) The influence of wild and cultivated Graminae and Cyperaceae on populations of sugarcane borers and their natural enemies in North India. Entomophaga 18, 419430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Neupane, F. P. (1990) Status and control of Chilo spp. on cereal crops in southern Asia. Insect Sci. Applic. 11, 501534.Google Scholar
Ngi-Song, A. J. (1995) Parasitization of selected African stemborers by Cotesia flavipes Cameron and Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), with emphasis on host selection and host suitability. PhD Thesis. University of Ghana, Legon. 198 pp.Google Scholar
Ngi-Song, A. J., Overholt, W. A. and Ayertey, J. A. (1995) Suitability of African gramineous stemborers for development of Cotesia flavipes and C. sesamiae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Environ. Entomol 24, 978984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ngi-Song, A. J., Overholt, W. A., Njagi, P. G. N., Dicke, M., Ayertey, J. A. and Lwande, W. (1996) Volatile infochemicals used in host and host habitat location b. Cotesia flavipes Cameron and Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), larval parasitoids of stemborers on graminae. J. Chem. Ecol. 22, 307323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nwanze, K. F. (1990) Insect pests of pearl millet in Sahelian West Africa 1. Acigona ignefusalis (Pyralidae, Lepidoptera): Distribution, population dynamics and assessment of crop damage. Trop. Pest Manage. 35, 137142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nye, I. W. B. (1960) The insect pests of graminaceous crops in East Africa. Colonial Research Study 13. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London. 48 pp.Google Scholar
Oloo, G. W. and Ogedah, K. (1990) The incidence o. Chilo partellus (Swinh.) (Pyralidae) and the contribution of natural enemies to its mortality under intercropping system in Kenya. Trop. Pest Manage. 36, 244248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Omwega, C. O., Kimani, S. W., Overholt, W. A. and Ogol, C. K. P. O. (1995) Evidence of the establishment of Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in continental Africa. Bull, entomol. Res 85, 525530.Google Scholar
Omwega, C. O., Overholt, W. A., Mbapila, J. C. and Kimani-Njogu, S. W. (1997) Establishment and dispersal of Cotesiaflavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), an exotic endoparasitoid of Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in northern Tanzania. African Entomology 5, 7175Google Scholar
Overholt, W. A. (1993) Release of beneficial insects in Kenya. Discovery and Innovation 5, 199200.Google Scholar
Overholt, W. A., Ngi-Song, A. J., Kimani, S. W., Mbapila, J., Lammers, P. M. and Kioko, E. (1994a) Ecological considerations of the introduction of Cotesiaflavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) for biological control of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in Africa. Biocontr. News Info. 15, 19N24N.Google Scholar
Overholt, W. A., Ogedah, K. and Lammers, P. M. (1994b) Distribution and sampling of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in maize and sorghum at the Kenya Coast. Bull. Entomol. Res. 84, 367378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Overholt, W. A., Ochieng, J. O., Lammers, P. and Ogedah, K. (1994c) Rearing and field release methods for Cotesia flavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid of tropical gramineous stem borers. Insect Sci. Applic. 15, 253259.Google Scholar
Polaszek, A. and Walker, A. K. (1991) Th. Cotesiaflavipes species complex: Parasitoids of cereal stemborers in the tropics. Redia 74, 335–41.Google Scholar
Potting, R. P. J., Vet, L. E. M. and Dicke, M. (1995) Host microhabitat location by stem-borer parasitoi. Cotesia flavipes: The role of herbivore volatiles and locally and systematically induced plant volatiles. J. Chem. Ecol. 21, 525539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rajapakse, R. H. S. and Kulasekare, V. L. (1982) Larval parasites of rice leaffolder in southern Sri Lanka. Int. Rice Res. Newsletter 7, 11.Google Scholar
Reissig, W. H., Heinrichs, E. A., Litsinger, J. A., Moody, K., Fiedler, L., Mew, T. W. and Barrion, A. T. (1986) Illustrated Guide to Integrated Pest Management in Rice in Tropical Asia. IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines, 411 pp.Google Scholar
Scheibelreiter, G. K. (1980) Sugar-cane stem borers (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae and Noctuidae) in Ghana. Z. Angew. Entomol. 89, 8799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scheltes, P. (1978) Ecological and physiological aspects of aestivation-diapause in the larvae of the two pyralid stalk borers of maize in Kenya. PhD Thesis. Landbouwhogeschool, Wageningen. 110 pp.Google Scholar
Senthamizhselvan, M. and Muthukrishnan, J. (1989) Bioenergetics o. Apanteles flavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), aparasitoid of Porthesia scintillans Walker (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Insect Sci. Applic. 10, 295299.Google Scholar
Seshu Reddy, K. V. (1983) Sorghum stem borers in eastern Africa. Insect Sci. Applic. 4, 3339.Google Scholar
Seshu Reddy, K. V. and Walker, P. T. (1990) A review of the yield losses in graminaceous crops caused b. Chilo spp. Insect Sci. Applic. 11, 563569.Google Scholar
Sharma, A. K., Saxena, J. D. and Subba Rao, B. R. (1966) A catalogue of the hymenopterous and dipterous parasites o. Chilo zonellus (Swinhoe) (Crambidae: Lepidoptera). Indian J. Entomol. 28, 510542.Google Scholar
Sithole, S. Z. (1987) Maize insect pests in Zimbabwe, pp. 286288. In. Toward Insect Resistant Maize for the Third World. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Methodologies for Developing Host Plant Resistance to Maize Insects. Mexico, D. F. Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo.Google Scholar
Skovgard, H. and Pats, P. (1996) Effects of intercropping on maize stemborers and their natural enemies. Bull. Entomol. Res. 86, 599608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tarns, W. H. T. (1932) New species of African Heterocera. Entomologist 65, 12411249.Google Scholar
Tarns, W. H. T. and Bowden, J. (1953) A revision of the African species o. Sesamia Guenee and related genera (Agrotidae-Lepidoptera). Bull. Entomol. Res. 43, 645678.Google Scholar
Usua, E. J. (1987) Descriptions of the larvae and pupae of some important lepidopterous stemborers of cereals. Entomological Society of Nigeria, Occasional Publication 29, 129.Google Scholar
Van Hamburg, H. (1979) The grain-sorghum stalk-borer, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): Seasonal changes in adult populations in grain sorghum in the Transvaal. J. Entomol. Soc. Southern Africa 42, 19.Google Scholar
Warui, C. M. and Kuria, J. N. (1983) Population incidence and the control of maize stalk-borer. Chilo partellus (Swinh.) and Chilo orichalcociliellus Strand and Sesamia calamistis Hmps. in Coast Province, Kenya. Insect Sci. Applic. 4, 1118.Google Scholar
Watanabe, C. (1965) Notes on th. Apanteles flavipes complex (Hymenoptera, Braconidae). Mushi 38, 111– 116.Google Scholar
Wiedenmann, R. N., Smith, J. W. Jr and Darnell, P. O. (1992) Laboratory rearing and biology of the parasit. Cotesia flavipes (Hymemoptera: Braconidae) using Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) as a host. Environ. Entomol. 21, 11601167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Youm, O., Gilstrap, F. E. and Browning, H. W. (1990) Parasitism of stem borers (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) associated with corn and sorghum in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. J. Econ. Entomol. 83, 8488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar