Article

Biology and management of economically important Lepidopteran cereal stem borers in Africa

ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute, Private Bag X134, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
Annual Review of Entomology (Impact Factor: 13.02). 02/2002; 47(1):701-31. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ento.47.091201.145254
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ABSTRACT Cereals (maize, sorghum, millet, rice) are extremely important crops grown in Africa for human consumption. Of the various insect pests attacking cereal crops in Africa, lepidopteran stem borers are by far the most injurious. All 21 economically important stem borers of cultivated grasses in Africa are indigenous except Chilo partellus, which invaded the continent from India, and C. sacchariphagus, which has recently been found in sugarcane in Mozambique. C. partellus is competitively displacing indigenous stem borers in East and southern Africa. A parasitoid, Cotesia flavipes, was introduced from Pakistan for biological control of C. partellus and caused a 32-55% decrease in stem borer densities. This article is an attempt to summarize the status of knowledge about economically important cereal stem borers in Africa with emphasis on their distribution, pest status and yield losses, diapause, natural enemies, cultural control, host plant resistance, and biological control. Special attention is given to Busseola fusca and C. partellus, the most important pests of maize and grain sorghum.

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    • "Sesamia nonagrioides is one of the most widespread noctuid stem borer pests, found in sub-Saharan Africa where it extends from Ivory Coast to Kenya and Ethiopia, and in the Palearctic region, where its distribution stretches from Western Europe and North Africa to Iran (Moyal et al., 2011c). The Mediterranean corn stalk borer is an important pest of maize in the Mediterranean region (Cordero et al., 1998; Eizaguirre & Fantinou, 2012) and in sub-Saharan Africa (Kfir et al., 2002). Compared with the majority of stemborer species it is a quite polyphagous species as it has been reared from plants belonging to three distinct families: Cyperaceae, Poaceae and Typhaceae (Le Ru et al., 2006a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Species in the stem borer noctuid subtribe Sesamiina are notoriously difficult to distinguish because most related species have homogeneous wing patterns and almost indistinguishable genitalia. The latter is potentially problematic because this group include several important pest species that are usually hardly distinguishable from non-pest species. In this study we focus on the Mediterranean corn stalk borer Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefèbvre), an important pest of maize with a wide area of distribution that covers most of Africa and extends to the south of Europe and Western Asia. According to a recent study, this pest consists of three allopatric populations which were formerly considered as distinct species or subspecies. Here we rely on recent collections of 5,470 specimens (sampled in 17 countries and 175 localities) that putatively belong to S. nonagrioides. Integrative taxonomy studies allowed us to unravel the existence of six new species that are closely related to S. nonagrioides and described in this paper. In contrast with S. nonagrioides these new species have more specific ecological preferences, as they are associated with a limited number of plant species and habitats. Dating and population genetic analyses carried out on 100 S. nonagrioides specimens also indicate a more complex than previously thought population structuration for S. nonagrioides, which can be likely accounted for by late Cenozoic environmental changes.
    Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 05/2015; DOI:10.1111/zoj.12275 · 2.72 Impact Factor
    • "Its recent invasions of different countries and its expanding distribution in Africa to high elevations were predicted by recent climatic models (Hutchison et al. 2008; Ben-Yakir et al. 2013; Dejen et al. 2014; Khadioli et al. 2014), and call for further studies on the occurrence of this pest species at higher elevations and of its continued expansion in Turkey. In addition, although the chemical control practices followed by Turkish farmers against stem borers will probably be effective against C. partellus as well, long-term environmentally friendly control strategies might be pursued by importing an exotic parasitoid of the pest, Cotesia flavipes, as was done in Africa (Overholt et al. 1994; Kfir et al. 2002; Assefa et al. 2008; Mailafiya et al. 2010). Natural enemies of maize lepidopteran pests in the region have been well studied (Sertkaya et al. 2004; Sertkaya and Bayram 2005; Bayram et al. 2007); however, in the present study, we were not able to obtain any natural enemies or record any new natural enemy–pest associations. "
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    ABSTRACT: The spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe, 1885) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), an invasive pest of wild and cultivated grasses in Asia and Africa, was found for the first time during periodic surveys of maize fields in the East Mediterranean region of Turkey in September and October 2014. The pest was recorded in maize fields of three of four provinces surveyed (Adana, Hatay and Osmaniye; it was not detected in Icel province). The Mediterranean corn stalk borer, Sesamia nonagrioides Lefebvre (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is the dominant maize pest in the East Mediterranean region of Turkey, followed by the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). The new invasive species comprised 4.9% of the total number of collected lepidopteran pests collected from maize stems and cobs in locations infested by C. partellus. No natural enemies of the new pest were recorded during our surveys. We discuss possible interactions among these three lepidopteran pests sharing the same habitat, prospects for control of C. partellus by the control methods currently used against S. nonagrioides and O. nubilalis, and also speculate on the path of invasion taken by C. partellus into Turkey.
    Journal of Applied Entomology 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/jen.12232 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    • "The stem borer Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is an important pest of maize [Zea mays L. (Poaceae)] and sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (Poaceae)] in Sub-saharan Africa (Kfir et al., 2002). Busseola fusca is oligophagous having a narrow host range consisting of a few grass species. "
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    ABSTRACT: The noctuid stem borer Busseola fusca is an important pest of maize and sorghum in Sub-Saharan Africa. The presence of this species occurred mostly on cultivated than on wild habitats. Busseola fusca is oligophagous having a narrow range of a wild grass species. This might be due, in part, to differences in silicon (Si) content in plant tissues between cultivated and wild grasses. In the present study, we have tested this hypothesis by studying the survival and the relative growth rate (RGR) expressed as daily weight gains of B. fusca larvae on maize and six wild host plants, mostly present in the natural habitat where B. fusca occurred, and correlated with their Si contents. Survival and RGR of B. fusca larvae were considerably higher on maize and wild sorghum than on the other grass species, and they were negatively related to plant Si content. This was corroborated with results on RGR from artificial diets amended with increasing levels of Si. In addition, if Si was added to maize growing substrate B. fusca larval growth was significantly reduced confirming the involvement of Si in B. fusca larvae - Poaceae interactions. The results provide insight into the possible mechanisms of oligophagy of B. fusca and provide a correlative support for a physical role of plant endogenous Si in impeding feeding of B. fusca larvae.
    Bulletin of Entomological Research 01/2015; 105(02):1-6. DOI:10.1017/S000748531500005X · 1.90 Impact Factor
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