Workshop on Important Arthropod Pests of the Caribbean Basin Amenable to Biological Control: Homoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera: Overview of Biological Control of Lepidoptera in the Caribbean

P. S. Baker, A. Khan, A. I. Mohyuddin, J. K. Waage

Abstract


Some previous biological control programs in the Caribbean are listed. Three cases are considered in detail: 1) Biocontrol of the sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis) has been a notable success, with effective control in several countries in the Caribbean. The braconid parasitoid Cotesia flavipes has been shown to be particularly adaptable to new hosts and future studies should exploit this quality still further. 2) Biocontrol of the diamondback moth on the other hand has been generally less successful, mostly due to the very low economic threshold required of crucifers but also because the parasitoids that have been tried up to now do not seem to work as well in the hot tropics as in more temperate areas. 3) Biocontrol of the pigeonpea pod borer is still in its infancy but is a suitable case for treatment. The past history of lepidopteran biocontrol in the Caribbean suggests that prolonged effort over many years yields results. It is difficult to finance years of sustained effort; the challenge for the future is to coordinate the endeavors of several Caribbean organizations in order to focus them on a few key pest problems.

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