Author(s): W R Ingram
Graminaceous crops are attacked by lepidopterous stem-borers all over the world causing severe crop loss. Chemical control of stem-borers is difficult and biological control is preferable for peasant farming systems. The most important genera are Diatraea, Chilo, Eldana, Sesamia and Busseola. Their natural enemies include egg, larval and pupal parasites and predators. The parasites are cued by different stimuli, some to host plant, others to borer tunnels or frass. Biocontrol was first attempted against Diatraea spp. in the New World where D. saccharalis is now under fair control in several countries. In the Old World attempts have been made to control C. sacchariphagus and E. saccharina without much success. In East Africa releases of exotic parasites against B. fusca, S. calamistis, C. partellus and E. saccharina have not been very successful and further work is suggested. Leguminous crops suffer from attacks of lepidopterous pod-borers. The most damaging species are Etiella zinckenelia, Maruca testulalis, Cydia spp. and Lampides hoeticus. There are relatively few records of important parasites and fewer still of predators, however, large parts of the world are still unsurveyed for natural enemies. Successful control using introduced parasites has been reported from Canada against C. nigricana and Mauritius against E. zinckenelia and M. testulalis. There appears to be scope for introductions of Caribbean parasites into Africa.