Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Pest Status of Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot, a Cob-borer of Maize in Western Africa

  • Mamoudou Sétamou
  • Fritz Schulthess
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_5033

In West Africa, five borer species are commonly found feeding in maize cobs, but Mussidia nigrivenella Ragonot (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is by far the most important across all zones. Grain yield losses are relatively low and range from 2 to 25%. Percentage of grain infected by the toxic fungus Aspergillus flavus as well as mean aflatoxin content of samples, however, increases exponentially with grain damage. Cob damage by M. nigrivenella also promotes the infestation of storage beetles such as Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky, Carpophilus spp. and Cathartus quadricollis Guérin. Furthermore, damaged cobs cannot be sold as green maize, an important source of cash in the vicinity of centers of population. Thus, in addition to the direct damage, M. nigrivenella induces indirect qualitative and quantitative losses in the field and store.

Mussidia nigrivenella is highly polyphagous, and is found on 20 plant species from 11 different plant families, among them cotton, Phaseolusbean and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mamoudou Sétamou
    • 1
  • Fritz Schulthess
    • 2
  1. 1.Texas A&M Research CenterTexasUSA
  2. 2.IITACotonouRepublic of Benin