Studies on the Stem-Borer Complex of Sorghum in Kenya

  • K. V. Seshu Reddy


The distribution and importance of stem-borer species of sorghum in Kenya, viz. Chilo partellus Swinhoe, C. orichalcociliellus Strand, Busseola fusca Fuller, Eldana saccharina Walker and Sesamia calamistis Hampson were studied and discussed. The incidence and period of activity of the stem-borer complex on sorghum indicated that C. partellus, which is a major pest, infested the crop early, while E. saccharina and S. calamistis infested late and persisted in the crop till it was harvested. Preliminary studies on the carryover of stem-borer showed that the larvae of C. partellus and S. calamistis were able to enter diapause in dry sorghum stalks for several months at the end of long and short rain seasons. Some new alternative host plants and parasites and predators affecting different life stages of stem-borers were identified. Preliminary screening of several sorghum lines was carried out for identification and confirmation of resistance to C. partellus and B. fusca, and some sources of resistance were reported.

Key Words

Sorghum stem-borer complex resistance parasites predators carryover alternative hosts Chilo partellus Chilo orichalcociliellus Busseola fusca Sesamia calamistis Eldana saccharina 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adesiyun A. A. and Ajayi O. (1980) Control of the sorghum stem-borer Busseola fusca, by partial burning of the stalks. Trop. Pest Management 26, 113–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajayi O. (1978) Control of sorghum, millet, and wheat field insect pests. Samaru Conf. Paper 24, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  3. Bleszynski S. (1970) A revision of the world species of Chilo Zincken (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. B. Entomology 25, 99–195.Google Scholar
  4. Dick J. (1945) Some data on the biology of the sugar-cane borer (Eldana saccharina Wlk.) Proc. S. Afr. Sug. Technol. Ass. 19. 75–79.Google Scholar
  5. Dodds H. H., (1939) The cane-borer pest in Zululand. A. Afr. Sug. J. 23, 565–576.Google Scholar
  6. FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) (1980) Elements of Integrated Control of Sorghum Pests. FAO, Rome, Italy, 159 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Girling D. J. (1972) Eldana saccharina Wlk. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) a pest of sugar-cane in East Africa. Proc. int. Soc. Sug. Cane Technol. (1971), 429–434.Google Scholar
  8. Girling D. J. (1978) The distribution and biology of Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and its relationship to other stem-borers in Uganda. Bull. ent. Res. 68, 471–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harris K. M. (1962) Lepidopterous stem-borers of cereals in Nigeria. Bull. ent. Res. 53, 139–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ingram W. R. (1958) The lepidopterous stalk-borers associated with Graminae in Uganda. Bull. ent. Res. 49, 367–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mathez F. C. (1972) Chilo partellu Swinh., C. orichalcociliellus Strand (Lep: Crambidae) and Sesamia calamistis Hmps. (Lep: Noctuidae) on maize in the Coast Province, Kenya, Mitt, schweiz. ent. Ges. 45, 267–289.Google Scholar
  12. Mohyuddin A. I. and Greathead D. J. (1970) An annotated list of the parasites of graminaceous stem-borers in East Africa, with a discussion of their potential in biological control. Entomophaga 15, 241–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nye I. W. B. (1960) The insect pests of graminaceous crops in East Africa. Col. Res. Studies No. 31, H.M.S.O., London, 48 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Sandhu G. S. and Chander Ramesh (1975) Occurrence of green striped borer, Maliarpha separatella Ragonot on sorghum in Punjab. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 72, 872–873.Google Scholar
  15. Seshu Reddy K. V. (1981) Pest management in sorghum—II. International Symposium, Sorghum in the Eighties, ICRISAT, India, 2–7 November 1981, p. 30.Google Scholar
  16. Seshu Reddy K. V. and Davies J. C. (1979) Pests of sorghum and pearl millet and their parasites and predators recorded at ICRISAT Centre, India up to August 1979. Cereal Entomology Dept. Progress Rept. 2, ICRISAT, Patancheru, A. P., India, 23 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Seshu Reddy K. V., Omolo E. O., Pathak R. S., Olela J. C. and Odinga P. O. (1981) A survey report on the distribution of stem-borers of sorghum and maize in Kenya. Submitted to ICIPE, 12 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Tarns W. H. T. and Bowden J. (1953) A revision of the African species of Sesamia Guenee and related genera (Agrotidae—Lepidoptera) Bull. ent. Res. 43, 645–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Waiyaki J. N. (1968) The biology and control of the principal lepidopterous borers associated with sugar-cane at the Tanganyika Planting Company, Arusha-Chini. TPRI Misc. Rep. No. 653.Google Scholar
  20. Young W. R. and Teetes G. L. (1977) Sorghum entomology. A. Rev. Ent. 22, 193–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. V. Seshu Reddy
    • 1
  1. 1.The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology(ICIPE) Mbita Point Field StationMbita, South NyanzaKenya

Personalised recommendations