Alternative host plants of sugar-cane stem-borers in southern Ghana.
Some of the sugar-cane stem borers are known to occur also on wild graminaceous plants, which may serve as reservoirs for reinfestation. At Asutsuare in South-eastern Ghana a host plant survey was therefore conducted monthly in 1978 to identify alternative host plants, which can be destroyed to control the stemborer pests. Eldana saccharina, the major pest of sugar-cane at Asutsuare, was only found on maize and Rottboellia exaltata. Sesamia calamistis, Sesamia penniseti, Sesamia botanephaga and Chilo zacconius were recorded on maize, Echinochloa pyramidalis, Rottboellia exaltata, Panicum maximum and rice. Sesamia spp. and C. zacconius were present on E. pyramidalis from January to December and showed a population build-up. Hence this grass appears to be the major alternative host plant, which serves as the source of infestation of these species in the sugar-cane crop. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Saccharum officinarum Zea mays Echinochloa pyramidalis Rottboellia exaltata Panicum maximum Oryza sativa | Sugar and starch crops | sugar cane | insect pests | stem borers | host plants | Ghana.