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Natural Enemies of Cereal Stemborers in East Africa: a Review

  • M. J. Bonhof (a1) (a2), W. A. Overholt (a1), A. Van Huis (a2) and A. Polaszek (a3)

The noctuids Busseola fusca and Sesamia calamistis and the pyraloids Chilo partellus, Chilo orichalcociliellus and Eldana saccharina are the most important stemborers of maize in East Africa. A wide range of egg, larval and pupal parasitoids of stemborers have been identified, but information on predators, nematodes and microbial pathogens is less extensive. The most abundant and widespread parasitoids in the East African region are the egg parasitoids Telenomus spp. and Trichogramma spp., the larval parasitoids Cotesia sesamiae and Sturmiopsis parasitica and the pupal parasitoids Pediobius furvus and Dentichasmias busseolae. Predators, such as ants, spiders and earwigs can cause high mortality of eggs and young larvae in some areas. Nematodes and microbial pathogens have been reported to infect all life stages, but their impact is low under natural conditions. The abundance of natural enemies can vary considerably between locations and seasons. In general, indigenous natural enemies are not able to keep stemborer populations below economic injury levels. This paper summarises what is currently known of the natural enemies of cereal stemborers in East Africa.

Les foreurs de tiges de maïs les plus importants de l'Afrique de l'est sont les noctuidés, Busseola fusca, Sesamia calamistis et les pyrales, Chilo partellus, Chilo orichalcociliellus, et Eldana saccharina. Une grande variété de parasitoïdes des oeufs, des larves et des pupes de ces foreurs est déjà connue. En revanche, l'information sur les prédateurs, les nématodes, et les pathogènes microbiens est limitée. Les parasitoïdes les plus abondants et ayant une plus grande distribution en Afrique de l'est sont les parasitoïdes des oeufs, Telenomus spp., Trichogramma spp., les parasitoïdes des larves, Cotesia sesamiae, Sturmiopsis parasitica et ceux des pupes, Pediobius furvus, et Dentichasmias busseolae. Les prédateurs telles que les fourmis peuvent dans certaines regions causer une mortalité élevée des oeufs et des jeunes larves. Il a été rapporté que les nématodes et les microbes infectent tous les stades de vie du foreur de tige, toutefois, leur impact est bas sous conditions naturelles. L'abondance des ennemis naturels varie selon les régions et les saisons. En général, les ennemis naturels locaux sont incapables de maintenir les populations des foreurs en dessous des seuils de dommages économiques. Cet article resume toutes les informations connues sur les ennemis naturels des foreurs de tiges de céréales en Africa de l'est.

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