Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The impact of arboricolous ants on an outbreak of Achaea catocaloides (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) in cocoa plantations of Cameroon, and a study of their associated Homoptera.

Abstract

A list is presented of larval food plants of the polyphagous noctuid Achaea catocaloides in cocoa plantations in Cameroon, where it is an important defoliator of the crop. A plantation heavily occupied by the ant Tetramorium aculeatum was hardly attacked by the noctuid, whereas one where ant occupancy was low was heavily defoliated. A study of the 3 dominant ant species (T. aculeatum, Oecophylla longinoda and Crematogaster depressa) showed that all 3 had beneficial effects in reducing defoliation of cocoa. The well-known associations between O. longinoda and Coccidae and between Crematogaster and Pseudococcidae (the latter being vectors of virus disease) were confirmed. On the other hand, T. aculeatum, hitherto considered exclusively predatory, appeared to exploit Coccidae and Psyllidae on cocoa trees. Crematogaster tended the aphid Aphis citricola [A. spiraecola] on cocoa.