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The effect of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) oil on oviposition, development and reproductive potentials of Sesamia calamistis Hampson (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

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1 The effect of different treatments of neem oil (0, 0.075, 0.1 and 0.15 mL/plant) and their persistence (0, 5 and 10 days after application; DAA) on the oviposition behaviour and the bionomics of the noctuid Sesamia calamistis and the pyralid Eldana saccharina were tested in laboratory and greenhouse experiments.

2 For most variables, no difference was found between DAA, showing that the treatments had a long-term effect, and pooled analyses across DAA were performed. Compared with the control (0 mL/plant), mean reductions due to neem in numbers of egg batch and eggs laid were 70 and 88% for S. calamistis and 50 and 49% for E. saccharina, respectively, but no differences were found among neem concentrations.

3 For both species, larval and pupal development time was shortest in the control and longest with the highest oil concentration. Immature survival, larval weight and fecundity were highest in the control and similar in the neem treatments.

4 No differences were found in sex ratios. Egg viability was highest in the control (approximately 87%) and lowest (72%) with the highest oil concentration. As a result of lower fecundity and longer developmental time, on average, the intrinsic rates of increase in the neem treatments were 30% lower than in the control.

5 In view of the low oviposition rates, immature survival, fecundity and egg viability in the neem treatments, and the relatively high persistence of neem oil, it can be expected that the reduction in densities of the two borers species in the field will be considerable.
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Keywords: Bionomics; Eldana saccharina; Sesamia calamistis; maize; neem oil; oviposition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 08 BP 0932 Tripostal, Cotonou, Republic of Benin and 2: Université de Lomé, BP 1515 Lomé, Republic of Togo, Project Coordinator, Biological Control of Cereal Stemborers, PO Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Publication date: 2004-08-01

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