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: 13.73). 02/2002; 47(1):701-31. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ento.47.091201.145254
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Andrew Polaszek,
1,355 Reads
  • Source
    • "Low production of the main staple crops and livestock remain a key challenge in achieving food security in Africa and this has resulted in high food and nutrition insecurity, malnutrition and poverty, particularly for the resource-constrained smallholder farmers, mostly women, practicing rain-fed agriculture (Gurney et al., 2006; World Bank, 2007). The parasitic African witch weed (Striga spp.), lepidopteran stemborers, Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and Busseola fusca Füller (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and degraded soils have been classified as the main causes of dismal cereal production in Africa and this has been aggravated by climate change and unpredictable rainfall (Smil, 2000; Kfir et al., 2002; Sauerborn et al., 2003; Okalebo et al., 2006; De Groote et al., 2010; Midega et al., 2013). The pushepull technology, developed by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and partners has been accepted as a low-cost conservation agriculture method that manages these constraints simultaneously and has been well adopted in the higher potential areas, with farmers reporting doubled and tripled cereal yields and more fodder for their livestock (Cook et al., 2007; Khan et al., 2000, 2008c, 2001, 2006; Khan and Pickett, 2004; Hassanali et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The performance of the agricultural sector in many developing countries has been rated as below average, in particular the staple cereal crops whose productivity is limited by both biotic and abiotic factors. Furthermore, underperformance by the agricultural sector has in part been attributed to the inability of women to access resources, yet they represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy through their roles as farmers and entrepreneurs. These challenges can be overcome by understanding gender roles and perceptions, and aligning innovations to fit the preferences of specific gender. This study evaluated gender specific perceptions and the extent of adoption of a climate-smart push-pull technology for controlling stemborers, African witch weed (Striga spp.), and improving soil fertility in drier agro-ecological zones where these constraints are quickly spreading. The findings show that slightly higher percentage of women (98.6%) perceived the technology as effective compared to men (96.7%). Women also highly rated the beneficial attributes of the technology such as increased cereal production (97.3% of the women vs 94.6% of men), decline in Striga spp. weed (97.2% women vs 92.4% of men), increase in soil fertility (95.9% of women vs 90% of men), increase in fodder production (94.1% of women vs 91.3% of men) and increase in cereal and fodder production even with drought (82.3% of women vs 66.5% of men). The findings show that, women who are the most vulnerable of the smallholder farmers, are bound to benefit from the technology, mostly because its attributes favors their (women) preferences.
  • Source
    • "The most important storage pest of cowpea is Callosobruchus maculatus (F.). The larvae bore into grains throughout the tropics and subtropics (Jackai and Daoust, 1986; Kfir et al., 2002). Similarly Sitophilus zeamais (Motsch.) is the major storage pest of maize. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The effects of Clerodendrum capitatum (Willd.) and Phyllanthus fraternus (Webster) powders were evaluated in reducing Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) and Sitophilus zeamais (L.) adult emergence and cowpea and maize seed damage under laboratory conditions. The dried and powdered plant leaves were tested against the virgin weevils by exposing ten unsexed adults to concentration levels of 0, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 mg/kg of seeds in three replications. Results obtained showed that the plant powders did not cause significant adult mortality of either of the insects but, significant reductions were recorded in terms of weight loss, seed damage, adult emergence and number of exit holes in maize. The plant powders showed great potentials for use as plant derived insecticides for controlling C. maculatus and S. zeamais in stored seeds.
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 09/2015; 175:244-270. DOI:10.1111/zoj.12275 · 2.72 Impact Factor
Show more