Swietenia macrophylla King (Meliaceae: Swietenioideae) provides one of the premier timbers of the world. The mahogany shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta Moore (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is an economically important pest of S. macrophylla throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific. No viable method of controlling this pest is known. Previous observations have suggested that the presence of overhead shade may reduce attack by H. robusta, but this has not been investigated experimentally. This research was therefore designed to assess the influence of light availability on shoot-borer attack on S. macrophylla, by establishing seedlings under three different artificial shade regimes, then using these seedlings to test oviposition preference of adult moths, neonate larval survival and growth and development of shoot borer larvae.
The results indicate that shading of mahogany seedlings may reduce the incidence of shoot borer attack, by influencing both oviposition and larval development. The establishment of mahogany under suitable shade regimes may therefore provide a basis for controlling shoot borer attack using silvicultural approaches.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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