oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Pest status of Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae) and Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) (Coccoidea: Oactylopiidae) in spineless opuntia plantations in South Africa



A survey of 41 Karoo plantations of spineless varieties of opuntia established for stock feed, showed that Caetoblastis eaetorum has become widespread and abundant, infesting all but one of the plantations. Although also widespread, Dactylopius opuntiae was recorded in only 18 of the plantations. The effects of these introduced insects on the plants were studied for two years in two plantations by assessing damage to marked cladodes and to clad odes formed during the period. C. caetorum significantly reduced the growth of the plants while the damage caused by D. opuntiae was detectable but much less severe.


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