Population dynamics of the African rice gall midge Orseolia oryzivora (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) and its parasitoids in the forest and southern Guinea savanna zones of Nigeria
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The African rice gall midge (AfRGM) Orseolia oryzivora Harris and Gagné is an important insect pest of rice in Nigeria. Studies were conducted at Ogidiga (forest zone) and Edozhigi (southern Guinea savanna) in Nigeria, under rainfed lowland conditions during the 2006 and 2007 rainy seasons, on the population dynamics of AfRGM adults using light trap and random sampling of % tiller infestation (plant damage due to AfRGM) and % parasitism by Platygaster diplosisae Risbec and Aprostocetus procerae Risbec (parasitized larvae and pupae and parasitoid species present in dissected tillers). The results obtained showed that AfRGM populations were relatively low in June and July - the beginning of the 2006 and 2007 rainy seasons, respectively - and increased abruptly from September, reaching a peak in October at both locations. The increase was attributed to the rapid build-up of the pest populations at both locations. There were strong positive correlations between adult populations from light-trap catches and % tiller infestation, and between % tiller infestation and parasitism. The peak period of parasitism by P. diplosisae and A. procerae occurred towards the end of the rainy season in October, coinciding with high level of % tiller infestation. It is concluded that conservation of the parasitoids early in the cropping season (i.e. to improve their synchronization with the host) could become an effective management strategy against AfRGM.
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