Incidence of Mesoplatys ochroptera Stål (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on Sesbania sesban in pure and mixed species fallows in eastern Zambia
Authors: Sileshi, G.; Mafongoya, P.L.
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 56, Number 3, December 2002 , pp. 225-231(7)
Abstract:The sesbania beetle, Mesoplatys ochroptera Stål (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera), is a serious defoliator of Sesbania sesban in eastern and southern Africa. Developing integrated pest management practices against the beetle is an important aspect of the adoption of S. sesban as an improved fallow species. Field studies were conducted in eastern Zambia with the objective of determining the incidence of M. ochroptera on S. sesban in pure and mixed species fallows. M. ochroptera did not successfully feed or breed on species other than S. sesban either in the pure or mixed species fallows. The density of adult and immature stages of M. ochroptera was higher in mixtures of S. sesban with Mucuna pruriens, Macrotyloma axillare, Macroptilium atropurpureum or Crotalaria grahamiana compared to a pure S. sesban fallow. Although mixed fallows of S. sesban with M. axillare and M. pruriens may produce fodder, increase the amount and quality of organic inputs and improve nutrient cycling in the soil, they appear to be incompatible with management of M. ochroptera. Mixing S. sesban with G. sepium neither increased larval and adult populations of M. ochroptera feeding on S. sesban nor damage to it. While this mixture appeared to favour development of pupae to the adult stage, it increased mortality of emerging adults. Therefore, it is concluded that mixing S. sesban with G. sepium is more robust in nutrient cycling, improving resource utilisation and management of M. ochroptera on S. sesban.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2002-12-01