Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Insect Pests of Sugar-cane in the French Antilles.

Abstract

Sugar-cane was observed during a recent visit to Guadeloupe and Martinique to be attacked on both islands by Diatraea saccharalis (F.) [cf. R.A.E., A 17 160], Laphygma frugiperda[Spodoptera frugiperda] (S. & A.) [cf. 17 458], Metamasius hemipterus (L.), Saccharosydne saccharivora (Westw.), Sipha flava (Forbes), Saccharicoccus sacchari -(Ckll.) and Schistocerca pallens[Schistocerca americana] (Thnb.). Eodia-traea centrella (Möschler) (D. canella Hmps.) and Blissus insularis Barber were present on the cane in Martinique, and small numbers of larvae of Diaprepes sp. were found infesting the roots in Guadeloupe. Dry cane on both islands was attacked by termites. Diatraea saccharalis was the major pest. On both islands the eggs were parasitized by Trichogramma minutum Ril. and Telenomus (Prophanurus) alecto (Crwf.), and the larvae by Agathis stigmatera (Cress.), which was rare, and Metagonistylum minense[Lydella minense] Tns. Lixophaga diatraeae (Tns.) parasitized the larvae in Guadeloupe. M. minense is thought to have been introduced from St. Lucia [27 182] into Martinique in 1934 and thence into Guadeloupe in 1938. L. diatraeae was introduced into Guadeloupe apparently in 1947-48. Metagonistylum reduced the infestation at first, but the recent introduction of high-yielding varieties of cane that are more susceptible to attack by Diatraea has resulted in increased damage and a reduction of at least 5 per cent. in the yield of sugar. It was confirmed in Guadeloupe that Metagonistylum of the Amazon strain is more abundant in areas of high rainfall and Lixophaga in drier ones, though each could survive under the reverse conditions. The desirability of introducing Paratheresia claripalpis (Wulp) into the islands to supplement the other parasites is discussed.