n African Entomology - Biology of Stål (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae), a pest of species, in southern central Africa

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



species (Fabaceae) are a valuable plant resource in tropical agriculture. Recently, Stål (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae) has become a serious pest of species in agroforestry systems in Africa. The biology of was studied in eastern Zambia and southern Malawi. (Jacq.) Wight, Gillet, DC, Phil. & Hutch., Bremek & Obrem, (Willd.) Link, (L.) Merr. and Hochst. ex Baker were the primary hosts of in the study area. Females laid on average one egg batch per day in an oviposition period of 18-56 days. Egg batches contained 2-70 eggs. Females that were mated repeatedly produced about 1000 offspring while those mated only once produced 980 offspring. Larval development through three instars, took between 11-34 days. Pupal development occurred in the soil, and took 4-16 days. The survival and developmental periods of pre-imaginal stages differed significantly between the species studied. The highest and lowest pre-imaginal survival was recorded on and , respectively. The longest developmental period of about 32 days was recorded on while the shortest of 14 days was on . Annual activity cycle in followed the unimodal rainfall pattern of southern central Africa. Beetles were only active during the rainy season (November-April) with a single population peak between February and April. Adults overwintered within and around the sesbania fallows during the long dry season (May-October) and emerged with the onset of the rains.

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