Host range and distribution pattern of Dacus punctatifrons and Helicoverpa armigera : two fruigivorous pests; elucidation of interspecific competition in tomato’s agro-system

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Research Paper 01/03/2019
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Host range and distribution pattern of Dacus punctatifrons and Helicoverpa armigera : two fruigivorous pests; elucidation of interspecific competition in tomato’s agro-system

Cyril Roméo Heumou, Pierre Stephan Elono Azang, Chantal Désire Aléné, Pierre Ngassam, Champlain Djiéto-Lordon
Int. J. Biosci.14( 3), 16-29, March 2019.
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With the aims to use the integrated pest management approach to control Dacus punctatifrons and Helicoverpa armigera two pests of tomato, knowledge on their ecological requirements is crucial. Three years survey was done in tomato gardens, orchard, farm and virgin lands to record infested fruits. Collection sites were noted, potential infested fruits were incubated and the emerged insects identified. The number of infested fruits caused by each of the pest species was recorded monthly. The variance-to-mean ratio (VMR) where used to determine the distribution model of pests in control gardens. Of 40 plant species examined, 5 species belong to 2 families that hosted D. punctatifrons maggots while 23 species belong to 11 families that hosted H. armigera caterpillars and 9 species were exempted of pest attacks. The pests were continuously distributed in the 14 explored localities of the 4 regions of Cameroon. A VMR factor showed that, larvae populations presented a clumped distribution on their hosts (D This can be the fact that female laid their eggs on bunched fruits. The pest’s impact significantly varied with plant varieties, exotic tomato was more susceptible to the pests than the local variety. As result of competition, the pests’ populations responded to their patchy distribution by separating their periods of resource exploitation. This separation can also be the fact of climate, because the overlapping of populations’ larvae were synchronized with change in seasons and was observed at the same period over the years.


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