n African Entomology - Natural enemies of maize stemborers on the highveld of Zimbabwe

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589


The species composition of maize stemborers and prevalence of their natural enemies at five highveld (> 1200 m) sites were studied by random sampling of borer life stages in maize fields. Fuller (Lepidoptera : Noctuidae) was the dominant species and constituted 99 % of all larvae and pupae sampled during the study. Cameron (Hymenoptera : Braconidae) was the most abundant and widely distributed parasitoid reared from larvae, followed by (Curran) (Diptera : Tachinidae). Two hyperparasitoids, (Ferrière) (Hymenoptera : Ceraphronidae) (from cocoons) and (Bequaert) (Hymenoptera : Megaspilidae) (from puparia) were recorded. Preliminary data on the occurrence of and suggested that these two parasitoids complement each other by partially partitioning their niche and thus minimizing competition. However, firm conclusions concerning the host range and ecological adaptations of the two parasitoids cannot be drawn until detailed studies have been conducted countrywide, especially at lower altitudes (< 900 m a.s.l.) where (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera : Pyralidae) and Hampson (Lepidoptera : Noctuidae) predominate.

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