International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 197–206 | Cite as

Seasonal abundance of the banana skipper, Erionota thrax (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) and its parasitoids in a commercial plantation and a subsistence farm in Penang, Malaysia

  • Justin N. OkolleEmail author
  • Mashhor Mansor
  • Abu Hassan Ahmad


To characterize the population dynamics of Erionota thrax Linnaeus and its major parasitoids, biweekly samplings were carried out in a commercial Cavendish banana plantation and a subsistence farm of local varieties, from April 2004 to November 2005. Five primary endoparasitoids were recorded: Ooencyrtus erionotae Ferriere, Cotesia erionotae Wilkinson, Brachymeria albotibialis Hoffmann, Elasmus sp. and Melaloncha sp. Ooencyrtus erionotae, C. erionotae, and B. albotibialis were, respectively, the major egg, larval and pupal parasitoids. In 2004, there was no significant difference in the E. thrax population densities and parasitism of immature life stages in both farms. In 2005, the pest population densities were significantly different, while only egg and larvae parasitism rates were significantly different. In the commercial plantation, peaks of E. thrax population densities per banana mat were recorded in April, June, July, and October–December and highest values for eggs, larvae and pupae were 4.66, 2.76 and 1.7, respectively. Percentage parasitism peaked in August, October, and February with peak values ranging from 60 to 100%. In the subsistence farm, peak E. thrax population densities were observed between May–July and September–December. Percentage parasitism peaked in January, February, July, August, October and November, with peak values ranging from 24 to 100%. Correlations between population densities of E. thrax and the numbers of parasitized insects showed strong positive relationships. There was evidence of a delayed density dependence of the parasitoids as most peaks of parasitism appeared 1 or 2 months after those of the host stages. Parasitism rates in the commercial plantation were substantial in spite of the frequent use of insecticides, and activities of the parasitoids were more favoured in the subsistence farm compared with the commercial plantation.

Key words

bananas Hesperiidae Erionota thrax parasitoids Ooencyrtus erionotae Cotesia erionotae Brachymeria albotibialis population dynamics 


Un échantillonnage a été réalisé toutes les deux semaines, d’avril 2004 à novembre 2005, dans une plantation industrielle de bananiers de la variété Cavendish et dans une plantation artisanale de bananiers locaux, afin de suivre la dynamique des populations d’Erionota thrax Linnaeus et de ses principaux parasitoïdes. Nous avons trouvé cinq espèces d’endoparasitoïdes primaires: Ooencyrtus erionotae Ferriere, Cotesia erionotae Wilkinson, Brachymeria albotibialis Hoffmann, Elasmus sp., et Melaloncha sp. Ooencyrtus erionotae, C. erionotae et B. albotibialis sont respectivement les plus importants parasitoïdes des oeufs, des chenilles et des chrysalides. En 2004, les densités de population d’E. thrax et les taux de parasitisme larvaire n’étaient pas significativement différents entre les deux fermes. En 2005, les densités de populations étaient significativement différentes et seuls les taux de parasitismes des oeufs et des larves étaient différents. Dans la plantation industrielle, les pics de densité de population par pseudotige ont été enregistrés en avril, juin, juillet et octobre–décembre avec des valeurs maximales d’oeufs, de chenilles et de chrysalides de 4,66, 2,76 et 1,7 respectivement. Les plus forts taux de parasitisme ont été enregistrés en aoû t, octobre et février avec des valeurs maximales comprises entre 60 et 100%. Dans la ferme artisanale, les pics de densité d’E. thrax ont été observés entre mai–juillet et septembre–décembre et les pics de parasitisme en janvier février, juillet, aoû t octobre et novembre avec des valeurs maximales comprises entre 24 et 100%. Une forte corrélation positive a été établie entre les densités de population d’E. thrax et le nombre d’insectes parasités. On a pu montrer l’existence d’une relation de densité dépendance du parasitisme, avec un décalage de 2 mois, entre les pics du ravageur et des parasitoïdes. Dans la plantation industrielle, les taux de parasitisme étaient importants malgré l’épandage fréquent d’insecticides. Toutefois, l’action des parasitoïdes était plus efficace dans la plantation artisanale que dans la plantation industrielle.

Mots clés

bananiers Hesperiidae Erionota thrax parasitoïdes Ooencyrtus erionotae Cotesia erionotae Brachymeria albotibialis dynamique des populations 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin N. Okolle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mashhor Mansor
    • 1
  • Abu Hassan Ahmad
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia

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