Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Current status of Diatraea saccharalis and its introduced parasites in St. Kitts, 1978.

Abstract

The results of a 2-week survey of sugar-cane in St. Kitts in April 1978 to assess the current status of Diatraea saccharalis (F.) and its introduced parasites Apanteles flavipes (Cam.) and Lixophaga diatraeae (Tns.) are presented and compared with those of several (unpublished) surveys since 1956. Infestation averaged 7.6%, which is above the economic threshold of 5%, and although both parasites were present, the total combined parasitism (18.6%) was lower than in earlier surveys. It is suggested that changes in the varieties of sugar-cane used, harvesting practices, uncontrolled burning and drought may have created conditions favourable to D. saccharalis or detrimental to its parasites, and it is concluded that additional biological control measures are warranted. Additional releases of L. diatraeae and A. flavipes will accomplish little unless orderly periodic inundative releases in the more heavily attacked fields are made, based on detailed monitoring. However, the introduction of additional new parasites might lead to more effective biological control, and initial trials with A. chilonis Mats. are recommended.