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Individual study: Enhancing foraging behaviour of stemborer parasitoids: role of a non-host plant, Melinis minutiflora

Published source details

Gohole L.S. (2003) Enhancing foraging behaviour of stemborer parasitoids: role of a non-host plant, Melinis minutiflora. PhD thesis. University of Wageningen.


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Grow non-crop plants that produce chemicals that attract natural enemies Natural Pest Control

A replicated, randomised, controlled study in 1998–1999 in western Kenya (Gohole 2003) found that larval and pupal parasitism of four pest stem borer species (Crambidae, Noctuidae and Pyralidae) by four parasitoid wasp species (Hymenoptera) was similar in plots of sorghum Sorghum bicolor intercropped with molasses grass Melinis minutiflora (4.4% parasitism) and plots of sorghum monoculture (5.1% parasitism). Parasitism differed for only one of four seasons (in 1998), when pupal parasitism was higher in monoculture plots. The spotted borer Chilo partellus was less abundant in intercropped plots (2,750 individuals) than in monoculture plots (3,601). Intercropped plots contained one row of molasses grass for every three sorghum rows. Plots were 9 x 10 m with the treatment replicated in 11 blocks over three fields. Laboratory studies of odour choice found that volatiles from sorghum or maize Zea mays with molasses grass were not more attractive to the stem borer parasitoid sp. Cotesia sesamiae than maize or sorghum volatiles alone. The parasitoid Dentichasmias busseolae was repelled by molasses grass volatiles.