The impact of the egg parasitoid Uscana lariophaga on Callosobruchus maculatus populations and the damage to cowpea in a traditional storage system.
In West Africa, Uscana lariophaga parasitizes the eggs of Callosobruchus maculatus, an important pest of stored cowpea. The impact of the egg parasitoid on pest populations was evaluated in clay pots used in traditional storage in Niger. At the beginning of the storage period cowpeas were infested with different densities of larval instars and adults of C. maculatus and inoculated with one density of U. lariophaga. The higher the initial densities of C. maculatus, the better the egg parasitoid was able to establish itself and to control the populations of C. maculatus, limiting the damage to cowpea. After three months of storage, the egg parasitoid significantly reduced the number of C. maculatus adults by 68 at the lowest and 86% at the highest initial density of the beetle; the percentage of damaged beans was reduced by 13 and 19%, respectively.