oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - A survey of pests of the Proteaceae in the western and southern Cape Province

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0013-8789



In a qualitative survey in both the natural habitat and commercial plantings of proteas (Proteaceae) 84 species were identified as either pests or aesthetically undesirable visitors in the protea genera Protea, Leucospermum, Leucodendron, Mimetes, Serruria, Brabejum and Orothamaus. Approximately 100 species, which have been observed to feed on proteas, have not yet been identified. Almost all these pests are of international phytosanitary importance to the protea cut-flower export industry. At least 20 species are serious pests, notably horers and leaf-miners, while an eriophyid mite appears to be the vector of a mycoplasm responsible for the witches' broom syndrome. There is some evidence that the number of pests of economic importance from a protea production point of dew may increase if serious ecological changes in habitat of both plants and pests are brought about in the course of the transition from reaping in natural habitat to commercial cultivation of proteas.

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