Browsing by Subject "Entomology"

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  • Odanga, James J.; Mohamed, Samira; Olubayo, Florence; Nyankanga, Richard; Mwalusepo, Sizah; Subramanian, Sevgan; Johansson, Tino Petri; Ekesi, Sunday (2017)
    Avocado, Persea americana Miller (Lauraceae), is an important fruit crop cultivated by small-holder farmers along Afrotropical highlands of Taita Hills in South-eastern Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro in Northern Tanzania. The small-holder farmers in these East African regions generate substantial food and cash from avocado fruits. However, the avocado crop is faced with challenges of infestation by insect pests such as the common blossom thrips (Frankliniella schultzei Trybom) which feeds on pollen and floral tissue thereby reducing productivity of the trees. Moreover, there is no information describing distribution patterns of Frankliniella schultzei and associated weather in East African avocado orchards despite the fact that small-scale farming is dependent on rainfall. This article was, therefore, initiated to provide dataset on abundance of Frankliniella schultzei from the avocado plants that relates with monthly rainfall and air temperatures at Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro. Frankliniella schultzei was collected using white coloured beating tray and camel brush whereas air temperatures (°C) and rainfall (mm) was recorded daily using automatic data loggers and rain gauge, respectively. The survey at the two transects commenced during peak flowering season of avocado crop in August up to end of harvesting period in July of the following year. Temporal datasets were generated by Kruskal-Wallis Chi-square test. Current temporal datasets presents strong baseline information specifically for Kenya and Tanzania government agencies to develop further agricultural strategies aimed at improving avocado farming within Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro agro-ecosystems.
  • Odanga, James J.; Mohamed, Samira; Mwalusepo, Sizah; Olubayo, Florence; Nyankanga, Richard; Khamis, Fathiya; Rwomushana, Ivan; Johansson, Tino Petri; Ekesi, Sunday (2018)
    Avocado (Persea americana) fruits are an important source of income and a nutritious food for small-scale growers and other stakeholders involved in farming along the Afrotropical highlands of Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Avocado fruits are infested by several insect pests, namely the Asian invasive fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), and the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). However, there is inadequate information on the distribution patterns of these pests in small-scale avocado cropping systems in the East African highlands. This study was initiated to generate a spatial distribution map of B. dorsalis and T. leucotreta in avocado orchards at Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. The two pests were monitored by using their respective parapheromone lures for two years between August 2012 and July 2014. Fruit damage was assessed by computing the proportion of infested fruits for B. dorsalis, whereas the damage score was used for T. leucotreta. Our results indicated that the mean number of B. dorsalis per trap per day differed significantly across elevation, being highest in lowland zone for both Taita Hills (15.90) and Mount Kilimanjaro (24.45). Similarly, the percentage infestation of ground collected fruits by B. dorsalis varied with altitude, being lowest at highlands above 1500 m.a.s.l. (0.66% and 0.83% for Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro, respectively). Conversely, the mean number of T. leucotreta did not vary with altitude in either study area. However, the damage score for T. leucotreta infestation was significantly lower in the highlands of both transects (7.0% and11.1% for Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro, respectively). These findings describe spatial trends that are important in formulating strategies aimed at suppressing the populations of B. dorsalis and T. leucotreta in East African avocado cropping systems.
  • Duplouy, Anne; Hornett, Emily A. (2018)
    The Lepidoptera is one of the most widespread and recognisable insect orders. Due to their remarkable diversity, economic and ecological importance, moths and butterflies have been studied extensively over the last 200 years. More recently, the relationship between Lepidoptera and their heritable microbial endosymbionts has received increasing attention. Heritable endosymbionts reside within the host’s body and are often, but not exclusively, inherited through the female line. Advancements in molecular genetics have revealed that host-associated microbes are both extremely prevalent among arthropods and highly diverse. Furthermore, heritable endosymbionts have been repeatedly demonstrated to play an integral role in many aspects of host biology, particularly host reproduction. Here, we review the major findings of research of heritable microbial endosymbionts of butterflies and moths. We promote the Lepidoptera as important models in the study of reproductive manipulations employed by heritable endosymbionts, with the mechanisms underlying male-killing and feminisation currently being elucidated in moths and butterflies. We also reveal that the vast majority of research undertaken of Lepidopteran endosymbionts concerns Wolbachia. While this highly prevalent bacterium is undoubtedly important, studies should move towards investigating the presence of other, and interacting endosymbionts, and we discuss the merits of examining the microbiome of Lepidoptera to this end. We finally consider the importance of understanding the influence of endosymbionts under global environmental change and when planning conservation management of endangered Lepidoptera species.