n African Entomology - Growth and development of (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera : Crambidae) on cultivated and indigenous graminaceous host plants




(Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera : Crambidae) is an economically important pest of graminaceous crops such as maize, sorghum and pearl millet. Although infestations are common in graminaceous crops, this species prefers to lay eggs on certain indigenous grasses. Indigenous graminaceous hosts that are preferred for oviposition but that result in poor larval survival have been used as trap crops in habitat management systems for this pest. In this study the growth and development of on different host plants was investigated. These hosts were maize (), sorghum (), sweet sorghum (), pearl millet () and the grasses, (Napier grass) and (blue thatching grass). Head capsule width, larval and pupal numbers and weight and development period for larvae and pupae were recorded. While larval survival on crops was high, no larvae pupated on indigenous grasses. Eclosion was observed from the pupae collected from maize, sorghum, sweet sorghum and pearl millet but not from the grasses. This study determined that the indigenous grasses, and are poor hosts for compared to the cultivated crops and that they therefore have characteristics that qualify them as potential trap crops for this pest.


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