A new native edible cricket species, Scapsipedus icipe Hugel and Tanga, has been described in Kenya for the first time. However, there is lack of information on suitable diets and their effects on the developmental time, survival, weight gain, body length, growth index, preoviposition, oviposition, postoviposition, fecundity, egg eclosion period, adult emergence, and longevity of this species, which are prerequisite for large-scale production. In this study, six diets (wheat bran, soybean, fish offal, pumpkin leaf, carrot, and maize meals) selected to vary in protein, carbohydrate, and fat content were evaluated. The developmental time and survival rate of the different life stages varied considerably on the various diets, with the shortest development and highest survival rate recorded when fed wheat bran diet. Preoviposition duration was significantly longer on maize and carrot diets (>10 d) compared with that recorded on the other diets (<8 d). Body weight and body length were significantly influenced by t different diets tested. Females of S. icipe fed on proteinrich diets (fish offal, soybean, and wheat bran) had significantly higher lifetime fecundity and fertility. Female-biased sex ratio was recorded on wheat bran and soybean diets, whereas male-biased sex ratio was recorded on maize and carrot diets. Our findings reveal that the impact of diet quality on the biological fitness parameters of S. icipe and the implication of the results are discussed in light of effective mass rearing of this species.
A new cricket of the genus Scapsipedus is described from Kenya. The distribution, acoustic behavior, including call and courtship song, mitochondrial sequences, and data on the biology of that new species are given. This edible cricket is a very promising species for mass production for food and feed.
Following its recent invasion of African countries, fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), now co-exists with resident stemborers such as Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) causing severe damage to maize crops. Due to niche overlap, interspecific interactions occur among the three species, but the mechanisms and degree remain unclear. In this study, we assessed plant-mediated intraspecific and interspecific interactions, predation in laboratory and semi-field settings, and larval field occurrence of S. frugiperda and the two stemborer species. Larval feeding assays to evaluate competitive plant-mediated interactions demonstrated that initial S. frugiperda feeding negatively affected subsequent stemborer larval feeding and survival, suggesting induction of herbivore-induced mechanisms by S. frugiperda, which deters establishment and survival of competing species. Predation assays showed that, at different developmental larval stages, second–sixth instars of S. frugiperda preyed on larvae of both B. fusca and C. partellus. Predation rates of S. frugiperda on stemborers was significantly higher than cannibalism of S. frugiperda and its conspecifics (p < 0.001). Cannibalism of S. frugiperda in the presence of stemborers was significantly lower than in the presence of conspecifics (p = 0.04). Field surveys showed a significantly higher number of S. frugiperda larvae than stemborers across three altitudinally different agroecological zones (p < 0.001). In conclusion, this study showed that the invasive S. frugiperda exhibited a clear competitive advantage over resident stemborers within maize cropping systems in Kenya. Our findings reveal some of the possible mechanisms employed by S. frugiperda to outcompete resident stemborers and provide crucial information for developing pest management strategies for these lepidopteran pests.
This study sought to evaluate the oviposition responses of Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) on maize plants exposed to Brachiaria brizantha Stapf following oviposition by C. partellus and nonexposed maize. Two Kenyan maize landraces (Jowi and Nyamula), Latin America landrace (Cuba 91) and WH505 (hybrid variety) (control) were studied. The result demonstrated that C. partellus deposited a significantly lower number of eggs and egg batches on Nyamula, Jowi and Cuba 91 maize plants exposed to B. brizantha with C. partellus eggs compared to nonexposed ones and the exposed hybrid variety. This was because they emitted electrophysiologically active compounds such as (E)-4, 8-dimethyl-1, 3, 7-nonatriene, decanal, (E)-caryophyllene, linalool, linalool (plus nananal), E-β-fernesene, methyl salicylate and (3E, 7E)-4, 8, 12-trimethyl-1, 3, 7, 11-tri-decatetraene that deterred C. partellus from ovipositing more eggs on these plants. Therefore, herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) of B. brizantha can be employed to protect the maize crop against C. partellus.
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