n African Entomology - The safou red borer caterpillar (Lepidoptera, Crambidae) : first observations from field surveys on its biology and morphometrics in Gabon




Maes & Poligui (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), the safou red borer caterpillar (SRBC), is a new insect species from Central and West Africa, recently reported as a fruit pest of in Gabon. Damage in Gabon was estimated at 22% in terms of fruit loss. Two peaks of attacks were recorded at the end of September and November, respectively. Fully grown larvae were red and the moth was earthen in colour. Average length and breadth of eggs were 0.86 ± 0.01 mm and 0.47 ± 0.01 mm, respectively. First, second, third, fourth and fifth instar larvae measured in length as 4.80 ± 0.09 mm, 8.00 ± 0.12 mm, 13.03 ± 0.32 mm, 15.17 ± 0.08 mm and 19.69 ± 0.43 mm and in breadth as 0.87 ± 0.02 mm, 1.87 ± 0.02 mm, 2.30 ± 0.32 mm, 2.67 ± 0.03mm and 2.75 ± 0.21 mm, respectively. The male and female wingspan average was 19.64 ± 1.05 mm and 22.60 ± 1.40 mm, respectively. Further investigations are needed to assess suitable strategies for biological control of this pest.


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