n African Entomology - A novel method to determine larval mandibular wear of the African stalk borer, Walker (Lepidoptera : Pyralidae) : short communications

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



The African stalk borer, Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is the most significant indigenous pest on sugarcane in South Africa (Atkinson 1980; Conlong 2001). Currently, crop management and cultivar resistance in sugarcane remain the most widely accepted control methods for in South Africa (Nuss & Atkinson 1983; Keeping 2006). Following emergence, larvae graze up and down the sugarcane stalk or disperse onto dead leaf sheaths for several days until old enough and, presumably, with sufficiently strong mandibles to bore into the plant (Leslie 1993). As young larvae use their mandibles to chew through the sugarcane stalk, abrasion of the mandibles' chewing surface is inevitable and could ultimately reduce feeding efficiency.

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