Studies on the Legume Pod-Borer Maruca Testulalis (Geyer)—V. Larval Population
The studies show that the population of Maruca testulalis fluctuates greatly between the long and short rainy season and is significantly lower during the short and dry season, even when the cowpea crop is maintained under irrigation conditions. Studies on larval and pupal populations at Mbita Point, in Western Kenya and related farmers’ plots showed lower populations under pure cowpea than under cowpea-maize intercrop, especially at 50% cowpea flowering stage (i.e. the second sampling stage). Although this difference was consistently manifested in the three seasons of experimentation there was no significant difference in larval population and extent of flower damage. Studies using three susceptible cowpea varieties (Ex-Lwanda, TVX 66-2H, and TVX 1193-059D) showed no significant difference in larval, pupal and adult populations when unsprayed. However, when sprayed with dimethoate (Rogor E 40) a systemic insecticide, significantly higher larval population was obtained in TVX 1193-059D, which shows the most vegetative growth of the three varieties. The borer damage on the flowers was not significantly different in all varieties under both the sprayed and unsprayed conditions. Studies using assessment of the different larval instars of M. testulalis in both sprayed and unsprayed conditions showed a continuous infestation of the crop throughout the season unless pod and flower production ceased. The fourth and fifth instar larvae were more abundant in pods than in flowers of the cowpea plant.
Key WordsLegume pod-borer Maruca testulalis varieties pure cowpea stand intercropping population dimethoate
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