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: 13.59). 02/2002; 47:701-31. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ento.47.091201.145254
Source: PubMed

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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