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1. Disease: Northern leaf blight

Names (English and local): Triticum leaf blight

Description/ Characteristic: a foliar disease of corn (maize) caused by Exserohilum turcicum, the
anamorph of the ascomyceteSetosphaeria turcica. With its characteristic cigar-shaped lesions, this
disease can cause significant yield loss in susceptible corn hybrids.

Geographical distribution: Turcicum leaf blight (or northern leaf blight) occurs worldwide and
particularly in areas where high humidity and moderate temperatures prevail during the growing

Host range: There are several host-specific forms of E. turcicum. The most economically important host
is corn, but other forms may infect sorghum, Johnson grass, or sudangrass

Symptom or Damages: Small oval (egg-shaped) spots first appear as water-soaked areas. They are dark
and greyish-green in colour, turning greenish tan. With age they get bigger and become cigar-shaped.
After rains or heavy dews, spores develop abundantly on both surfaces of the spots, particularly at the
centres, giving a dark-green, velvety look to the spots. The spots may join and form large areas, which
may kill entire leaves. Heavily infected leaves appear dry as if affected by drought.

Means of movement and dispersal: In nature, E. turcicum lives and reproduces in an asexual phase with
a relatively simple life cycle. In temperate regions, the fungus is dispersed by rain or wind to infect new,
healthy corn plants. Once on a leaf, conidia will germinate and directly infect the plant. In conditions
with high humidity, the fungus will produce new spores at the leaf surface, which are spread by rain or
wind through the crop and create cycles of secondary infection.

Detection and Inspection:

Easily recognized, slightly oval, water-soaked, small spots on the leaves.

These grow into elongated, spindle-shaped necrotic lesions.
They may appear first on lower leaves and increase in number as the plant develops, and can
lead to complete burning of the foliage.

Prevention and control

Use of tolerant, resistant varieties if available

Practise good field sanitation. Remove or plough in crop residues after harvest.
Practise crop rotation.

2. Disease: Southern leaf blight

Description/ Characteristic: first appear as small yellow dots that become elongated between veins.
They later become brownish to creamy white in colour with reddish to purplish brown borders. Light
brown leaf spots with a brown margin, at first elliptical, becoming rectangular, up to 25 mm long and 2 -
6 mm wide. The spots are at first restricted by the leaf veins, but later they may merge. Leaves dry out
and die prematurely.
Geographical distribution: Maydis leaf blight is found in all tropical and temperate maize growing
regions where the growing season is characterized by warm and wet conditions
Host range: In addition to maize, B. maydis is also known to infect sorghum and teosinthe.
Symptom or Damages:
Lesions are generally:
o from 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide by 1/8 to 1 inch long
o tan in color
o rectangular to oblong in shape
o usually found on leaves
o variable, making identification more difficult than for other diseases
Lesion type may depend on hybrid genetics
Lesions usually develop first on lower leaves and work up the plant

Means of movement and dispersal: Spread is by airborne spores; and the fungus is also seed-borne.
Survival in soil occurs for up to 12 months.
Can cause significant loss of corn leaf area when conditions favor the disease
Loss of leaf area results in reduced photosynthesis, lowering yield potential and increasing risk
of stalk rots
The earlier the disease begins in the growing season, the greater the potential for yield
Ear and cob rots may also occur due to this fungus

Prevention and control

Use disease-free seed or treated seed (steam-air mixture at 53.9 - 55C for 17 minutes or by
treatment with fungicides)
Practise field sanitation, destroy crop residues and volunteer plants
Practise crop rotation
Use tolerant, resistant varieties if available


3. Disease: Maize lethal necrosis disease

Domain: Virus
Group: "Positive sense ssRNA viruses"
Group: "RNA viruses"
no rank: Maize lethal necrosis disease
Names (English and local): MLND
Description/ Characteristic: MLND is mainly spread by a vector, transmitting the disease from plant to
plant and field to field. The most common vectors are maize thrips, rootworms, leaf beetles and aphids.
Hot spots appear to be places where maize is being grown continuously.
Geographical distribution: There is a preliminary report of the disease in Uganda
Host range: The experimental host range is restricted to the Poaceae with maize as the main a natural
Symptom or Damages: Maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) causes a variety of symptoms in maize
depending upon genotype, age of infection and environmental conditions. They range from a relatively
mild chlorotic mottle to severe stunting, leaf necrosis, premature plant death, shortened male
inflorescences with few spikes, and/or shortened, malformed, partially filled ears

Biology and ecology: Maize lethal necrosis was first identified in the USA in 1976. The disease is caused
by a combination of two viruses, Maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and Sugarcane mosaic
virus (SCMV), a pathogen prevalent in many parts of Kenya affecting cereal crops. The double infection
of MCMV and SCMV or any of the cereal viruses in the Potyviridae group (e.g. Maize dwarf mosaic
virus or Wheat streak mosaic virus) gives rise to what is known as maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND),
also referred to as corn lethal necrosis disease.
Impact: One of the management options for the disease is vector control by the use of insecticides.
Maize is planted by a large number of farmers so the increased use of pesticides in the production of
maize may have a negative impact on the environment.

MLN does not occur on crops other than maize; so avoid growing maize after maize. Diversify
your farm enterprise by planting different crops each season.
Do not plant a new maize crop near an infected field. Wind-blown insect vectors can transmit
the disease from the infected field to the new crop
Plant maize at the onset of the main rainy season, rather than during the short rain season; this
creates a break between maize crops and interrupts the disease cycle
Weed fields regularly to eliminate alternate hosts for insect vectors. Use maize varieties that are
resistant to MLN


Immediately remove diseased plants from your fields. You can feed the leaves to livestock
Do not allow humans or animals to eat infected ears or grains, which may contain secondary
fungal infections and harmful mycotoxins. Burn infected ears and grains.

4. Disease: Black spot of maize

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
Class: Sordariomycetes
Subclass: Sordariomycetidae
Order: Phyllachorales
Family: Phyllachoraceae
Genus: Phyllachora
Species: Phyllachora maydis
Names (English and local): tar spot; tar spot of maize
Geographical distribution: This fungus is reported from parts of Mexico, Central and South America and
the West Indies. Known primarily from the cooler and higher elevations, it may be unable to spread by
its own ability through the drier or hotter tropics. Watson (1971) lists it as present in Brazil, but Hock et
al. (1995) state that there are no reports of it there, or farther south in the continent.

Summary of invasiveness: P. maydis, a perithecial ascomycete, causes a tar spot disease of maize that is
usually a minor problem. More significant damage to leaves and yield is caused by the
fungus Monographella maydis whose infection follows that of the tar-spot fungus, at least where
studied in Mexico. The source of initial inoculum for both fungi is not determined. The disease they
cause occurs in the cooler and higher elevations of Mexico, and Central and South America, and the
West Indies, so their ability to spread over land through other climatic zones may be limited. Not known
to be seedborne or to infect other species, P. maydis could be transported on fresh or dry maize leaves
or husks, or products made from them, from which ascospores would have to be produced and carried
by wind or rain splash to maize [Zea mays].

Risk of introduction: Not known to be seedborne, the two pathogenic fungi of the tar spot complex
could be transported beyond their known distribution on fresh or dry maize leaves or husks, or products
made from them. Ascospores of P. maydis and conidia of Monographella maydis would then have to be
carried by wind or rain splash to maize [Zea mays].

Habitat: The disease is favoured by cool temperatures, 16-20C, and high relative humidity
Host range: P. maydis is restricted to Zea mays
Symptom or Damages: Initial symptoms are small, yellow-brown spots on either side of the leaf. The
raised glossy black clypeus covering the ascomata, surrounded by a narrow chlorotic border, develops in
the spot. Spots are circular, oval, sometimes angular or irregular, and may coalesce to form stripes up to
10 mm long.

Biology and ecology: Ascospores of Phyllachora spp. on Australian grasses are actively discharged after
rain or high relative humidity and collect in glutinous masses at the ostioles, from which they are
probably dispersed by rain splash (Parbery, 1963a). Hock et al. (1995) trapped windborne ascospores
of P. maydis in Mexico during periods of high humidity, with a maximum in the evening hours. Most of
the spores trapped were in clusters of three or four; the fungus was able to spread up to 75 m from
infected plants. In the laboratory, ascospores germinate best between 10 and 20C, but poorly outside
this range

Means of movement and dispersal: spread by wind and initiate new infection

Natural enemies: Coniothyrium phyllachorae

Host damage
Negatively impacts agriculture
Negatively impacts livelihoods

Diagnosis: No DNA sequences for this species are available in GenBank as of October 2009, but
sequences for the 18S and ITS2 regions of rDNA forPhyllachora graminis have been recorded.

Detection and inspection: Lower leaves should be examined for small, raised, glossy, dark, circular, or
oval to irregular, spots, or for brown lesions, often with a dark border, having a dark ascomata at the

Similarities to other species: Orton (1944) distinguished P. maydis among species of Phyllachora on
grasses on the basis of its ellipsoid, uniseriate ascospores, the intermediate length of asci, and the size
and shape of the clypeus. According to his key, other North American species that are similar, occur on
grasses in genera such as Andropogon, Anthephora, Bouteloua, Panicum, Paspalum, Spartina, and

Prevention and control: Measures to reduce the initial inoculum for a new crop would depend on the
source of that inoculum and cultivation practices. Where maize [Zea mays] is grown continuously in the
vicinity, efforts at sanitation are not likely to be effective. Elsewhere, removal of volunteer plants or wild
maize relatives may be appropriate. Ascospores of P. maydis survived in crop debris for 3 months or
longer (Hock et al., 1995); the removal or destruction of the debris may be useful if a new crop will be
planted in that interval.


5. Disease: Late wilt of maize

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
Class: Sordariomycetes
Subclass: Sordariomycetidae
Family: Magnaporthaceae
Genus: Harpophora
Species: Harpophora maydis
Description/ Characteristic: Culture on PDA (potato dextrose agar) white to pale-grey, becoming dark-
grey to black. Mycelium appressed, felty, margin rhizoidal, the outermost hyphae branching to
resemble roots; hyphal ropes curving clockwise. Hyphae hyaline, septate. Conidiophores 60-250 m or
longer, mostly branched; conidia formed in phialides at apices, collecting in heads. Conidia straight,
mostly one-celled, hyaline, oblong, 3.5-14.0 x 3.5 m. Sclerotia-like bodies, composed of several thick-
walled pigmented cells, formed in old cultures.
Geographical distribution: This pathogen has been known to occur in Egypt
Summary of invasiveness: H. maydis is a soilborne and apparently seedborne fungus, related to the
root-infecting species in the genus Gaeumannomyces. It is known from only a few scattered countries,
where it can cause significant losses, but may have been unobserved in others in which the primary
host, maize [Zea mays], is grown.

Risk of introduction: The risk for introduction of H. maydis to new areas lies in its capacity to be
seedborne; the risk of establishment in new areas lies in the widespread cultivation of maize [Zea mays]
as a food crop and in the ability of the fungus to survive in plant debris and possibly in the soil.

Host range: Zea mays is the major crop so far known to be damaged, but the fungus may have other
hosts, particularly if it originates from Egypt or India rather than with Z. mays from the western
Symptom or Damages: Leaves wilt moderately rapidly beginning in the tasseling (flowering) period or
later. Progressing upward from the lower part of the plant, leaves become dry and dull green, rolling
inward and eventually losing colour. Vascular bundles in the stalk turn reddish-brown and then
internodes also become discoloured. Lower portions of the stalk are dry, shrunken, and hollow. Some
plants develop yellowish to purple or dark-brown streaks on the lower stem
Means of movement and dispersal: Conidia are the only spore form produced, thus they could be the
means of dispersal, but this has not been demonstrated to occur in nature. The spores have been
observed in xylem vessels (Samra et al., 1962). Sclerotia are a means of survival in soil and are dispersed
with soil.
Impact: This is a late-season disease of widespread incidence and severity in Egypt, with 100% infection
reported in some fields
Detection and inspection: The symptoms of wilt, external and internal discolouration of stems, and stalk
rot are not particularly distinctive and may be obscured due to drought, over-irrigation or other
Similarities to other species: H. maydis lacks a known teleomorph, but is similar to
the Harpophora anamorph of Gaeumannomyces species in culture
Prevention and control

Use resistant varieties if available.

Practise crop rotation.
Practise field sanitation. In smallholdings remove and destroy smut galls before smut spores are
produced. This may help reduce prevalence of the disease in following years.

6. Disease: Powdery mildew of corn

Taxonomy: Order / Family: Erysiphaceae
Names (English and local): Philippine Downy Mildew/ crazy top
Description/ Characteristic: It causes distortion and/or stunting of the corn plant. Tunneling usually kills
the plant. The tassel bracts may proliferate, resulting in a very bushy appearance of the top of the plant.

Geographical distribution: Powdery mildew occurs almost everywhere corn is grown. It is important
economically under humid rainfed conditions and in dryland areas when irrigation is used for production
of improved cultivars with high yield potential. Powdery mildew has increased in importance in some
regions because of increased application of nitrogen fertilizer, which favours the disease. The disease is
important in regions where rain occurs early in the season and where temperatures are relatively cool,
such as regions with maritime climates, and in cooler regions with a humid continental climate (Bennett,
1984). Powdery mildew is important in the cooler regions of China, Japan and other areas in Asia, in
North and East Africa, in northern Europe and eastern North America. It is also important in warmer,
humid regions with mild winters where wheat is planted in the autumn, such as parts of the Southern
Cone of South America and the southeastern United States. In regions or seasons in which rain is
frequent and heavy, the occurrence of powdery mildew may be very low because spores are washed
from the leaves or they burst in water (Merchan and Kranz, 1986).
History of introduction and spread: Philippine downy mildew was first briefly mentioned by Professor
Baker of the College of Agriculture of the University of the Philippines in 1916 and then again in 1918 by
Dr. Reinking, also of the College of Agriculture. His studies showed that the species had been present in
the Philippines for more than 10 years already. It was not until 1920 when William Weston named its
causal agent as Sclerospora philippinensis in a report, marking its similarities to its close
relative Sclerospora sacchari. It continued to be known as Sclerospora philippinensis until 1980, when it
was renamed Peronosclerospora philippinensis according to the shifts in the classification.

Host range: Socioeconomically important hosts are Zea mays and the Saccharum and Sorghum species
due to their cultivation for crops and export. Other species of interest are the Graminaea species.
Individual species of powdery mildew fungi typically have a very narrow host range. Hosts include
cereals, grasses, vegetables, ornamentals, weeds, shrubs, fruit trees, and forest trees.
Notable exceptions include maize, celery and carrots.

Symptom or Damages: the mycelium and spores of the fungus are seen as whitish growth on the host.

Biology and ecology: The severity of the disease depends on many factors: variety of the host plant, age
and condition of the plant, and weather conditions during the growing season.

Powdery mildews are severe in warm, dry climates. This is because the fungus does not need the
presence of water on the leaf surface for infection to occur. However, the relative humidity of the air
needs to be high for spore germination. Therefore, the disease is common in crowded plantings where
air circulation is poor and in damp, shaded areas. Incidence of infection increases as relative humidity
rises to 90%, but it does not occur when leaf surfaces are wet (e.g. in a rain shower). Young, succulent
growth usually is more susceptible than older plant tissues.

Means of movement and dispersal/Causal Agent: Pernosclerospora philppinensis

The white powdery growth consists of large numbers of fungal spores, which are spread by
wind. The disease can spread very rapidly. It is more prevalent in dry weather when humidity is high and
nights are cool. The fungus survives from season to season in dormant buds. The flowering is the most
critical stage for infection.
Philippine downy mildew is confined to parts of Asia. It is a major problem in the Philippines
where losses in maize were estimated at 8% nationally in 1974-75. One yield loss study showed losses of
100%. The disease is generally less severe in India, but losses of up to 60% have been reported (Bonde,
1982; Payak, 1975).

Detection and inspection

Plants infected with powdery mildew look as if they have been dusted with flour.
Powdery mildew usually starts off as circular, powdery white spots, which can appear on leaves,
stems, and sometimes fruit.
Powdery mildew usually covers the upper part of the leaves and affects the older leaves first; the
leaves turn yellow and dry out.
The fungus might cause some leaves to twist, break, or become distorted.
The white spots of powdery mildew will spread to cover most of the leaves or affected areas.
The leaves, buds, and growing tips will become distorted as well. These symptoms usually appear
late in the growing season.

Prevention and control:

High levels of nitrogen increase the susceptibility of susceptible cultivars, but have less effect on
the resistance of resistant cultivars (Yamada and Aday, 1977).
Fentin hydroxide and maneb provide effective control (Exconde, 1975; Exconde, 1976;
Raymundo and Exconde, 1976).
Metalaxyl was also effective, when applied as a foliar spray (Cordero and Tangonan, 1988).

7. Disease: Leaf rust of corn
Names (English and local): Leaf Rust
Description/ Characteristic: Southern corn rust is caused by the fungal pathogen Puccinia polysora. It is
an important disease of corn in tropical areas. The damage to the plant is due to the loss of
photosynthetic leaf area. The disease progressively worsens as the plant develops. This pathogen also
infects other hosts including silver plume grass (Saccharum [Erianthus] apopecuroides), eastern
gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), Tripsacum lanceolatum, T. laxum, and T. pilorum.
Geographical distribution: The disease can be found in almost all the tropical and subtropical regions in
the globe, such as Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and southern regions of the Americas

Host range: An alternate host for P. polysora has not been identified. Urediospores of P. polysora are
known to infect maize, plume grasses, gama grasses and teosinthe.

Symptom or Damages Puccinia polysora produces dense uredial pustules on the surfaces of the corn
leaves. The uredia are small, 0.2-2.0 mm long nad circular to oval in shape (4). The color is orange-red to
light cinnamon brown (1). The rust symptoms occur when the uredia break open and sporulate. The rust
affects the lower leaves more than leaves further up the plant.
Damage is caused by loss of photosynthetic leaf area, chlorosis, and premature leaf senescence
leading to incomplete grain filling and poor yields. Under severe disease pressure, sugars are diverted
from the stalks for grain filling leading to plant lodging.

Means of movement and dispersal (Causal Agent: Puccinia polysora )

Favorable environmental conditions for disease development are altitude less than 700 meters,
temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius, and high humidity. The uridiospores are the only type
of spores known for this pathogen life cycle. Urediniospores are responsible for primary and secondary
inoculum (3). These urediniospores spread via wind. Urediniospore germination and penetration
requires free water on the surface of the corn leaves (1). The spores are able to survive in plant debris,
which is an important source for the disease spread

Impact: Southern rust is generally considered a minor disease in the USA, but it can be destructive in
late-planted maize (Futrell, 1975). Of the three rusts that occur on maize, southern rust is the most
destructive. Rodriguez-Ardon et al. (1980) estimated yield losses of 45-50% caused by P. polysora; it also
has the capacity to cause significant reductions in yield (17.7-39.1%) even as far north as Pennsylvania
and Maryland (Raid et al., 1988).

Diagnosis : abnormal colour,abnormal leaf fall, fungal growth, necrotic areas

Detection and inspection

Look for yellow or white spots forming on the upper leaves of a plant.
Look for reddish to orange blister-like swellings called pustules on the undersides of leaves.
Orange or yellow spots or streaks appear on the undersides of the leaves.
Within these spots that form are spores.
Usually leaf distortion and defoliation occur.

Similarities to other species: Pustules of P. polysora are not as powdery initially as those produced
by Puccinia sorghi (Common corn rust). Also, the development of dark colored teliospores around the
pustule occurs later in the season than those of common corn rust.

Prevention and control: The use of resistant maize hybrids is the most feasible means of controlling
southern rust. A hypersensitive type of resistance, conditioned by a single dominant gene, was highly
effective in preventing yield loss in crops and eliminated sporulation of secondary inoculum however,
races of P. polysora existed that limited their wider use.

8. Disease: Ear rots (Gibberella zeae / G. fujikuroi)
Names (English and local)
Description/ Characteristic: Characteristic symptoms include pink to brick-red colour on ears, husks and
kernels. The fungi often gain entrance to the ears through channels made by earworms and borers. Bird
damage to the ears also facilitates disease infection.
Host range: Gibberella zeae infects a range of other cereals including wheat, barley, oat and rye. It is
also known to infect species of Lycopersicon, Pisum, Trifolium and Solanum in addition to carnations and
other ornamentals.
Symptom or Damages:
Roots: dry rot.
Seedlings: blight and subsequent death of the seedling.
Leaves: leaves become a dull green colour when rots and stalks are infected early.
Stalks: lesions are a dark brown to black colour in which black perithecia may be produced near the
lower nodes. The pith is shredded and is pink to red in colouration.
Ears: the fungus infects the ear via the silk channel and causes a red rot of the kernels from the tip of the
ear. This may spread over the whole ear.

Diagnosis: Scouting is necessary to determine if your corn crop has an ear rot problem. This can be
achieved by stripping back the husks on at least 100 plants scattered throughout each field. If more than
10 percent of the ears have significant mold that is greater than 25 percent of the ear, the corn should
be harvested in a timely manner and dried to below 15 percent moisture as quickly as possible to
prevent further mold growth and, in some cases, mycotoxin accumulation.

Detection and inspection: If used for feeding, the grain should be tested for mycotoxins. To collect a
sample for testing, take a composite sample of at least 10 pounds from a moving grain stream. Another
method is to take multiple probes in a grain cart or truck for a composite 10-pound sample. Submit the
sample to a qualified laboratory for mycotoxin analysis. If the grain tests positive for mycotoxins, you
may still be able to feed it to a less sensitive livestock species--for example, beef cattle. However, this
depends on the specific toxin and its concentration. Consult a veterinarian or extension specialist to help
with such decisions. If the grain is sold, mold damage may reduce the price.
Prevention and control
Host resistance
o Cultivation of varieties that are resistant to ear rots is the most practical and cost-effective
means of ear rot management.
o Varieties with tight husks appear to be more vulnerable to Gibberella ear rot.
Chemical control
o As ear rot typically develops late in the season and in storage, use of fungicide is not
o Where the crop is infected systemically with Fusarium species, application of fungicide early in
the season can limit ear infection.
o Management of insect pests (ear borers) will reduce infection of the ear through injury sites
caused by insect feeding.
o Proper storage
o Storing grain at low moisture (below 15%) reduces the incidence of Gibberella
zeae and Fusarium species in storage.
Cultural control
o Management of infected crop debris will reduce the amount of disease inoculum in subsequent

9. Disease: Maize dwarf mosaic virus
Domain: Virus
Group: "Positive sense ssRNA viruses"
Group: "RNA viruses"
Family: Potyviridae
Genus: Potyvirus
Species: Maize dwarf mosaic virus
Names (English and local): MDMV
Description/ Characteristic:
MDMV particles, as shown for the first time by Williams and Alexander (1965), are filamentous,
ca 750 nm long and 13 nm wide. These findings have been verified by many researchers. Rao et al.
(1998b) have reported an improved purification procedure for MDMV.
The virus particles are of nucleoprotein composition. A ssRNA species of ca 3320 kDa representing
ca 5% of the particle weight (Jones and Tolin, 1972). A single polypeptide species of apparent MW of
30.7 kDa for a native preparation, or 35.5 kDa for a carboxymethylated preparation build the protein
coat of the virions.

Risk of introduction:
Economic Importance: High
Distribution: Worldwide
Seedborne Incidence: Low
Seed Transmitted: Yes
Seed Treatment:No
Overall Risk: Low

Habitat: All host plants, both cultivated and wild, support the maintenance of MDMV under field
conditions. When infected, perennial species play the most important role. They provide a permanent
source of MDMV, and Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) is the most important.

Host range:
In addition to maize (Zea mays), including field maize, sweetcorn, popcorn and maize inbred lines (seed
crop), MDMV has been isolated from the following naturally-infected plant species:
* Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is the other very important host of MDMV. Crops of grain sorghum, silage
sorghum, as well as of broomcorn (technical sorghum) are susceptible to damage by MDMV.
* Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is also an important host of MDMV. The virus adversely affects
sugarcane crops.
* Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) is the most important perennial wild host. Infected plants serve as
a permanent source of the virus under field conditions. Other wild hosts are less important, but they
also contribute to virus ecology and epidemiology.

Symptom or Damages: Symptoms of MDMV on maize and sorghum are similar. Virus-infected plants are
discoloured, exhibit dwarfing, sterility, and sometimes premature death. The severity of symptoms
depends primarily on the susceptibility of the genotype being grown, and on the time of infection.

Means of movement and dispersal: Many aphid species are involved in MDMV transmission. The
following species are proven vectors of MDMV: Acyrthosiphon pisum, Aphis citricola, A. craccivora, A.
decepta, A. fabae, A. gossypii, A. helianthi, A. maidiradicis, Brevicoryne brassicae, Hysteroneura setariae,
Macrosiphum euphorbiae, Metopolophium festucae, Myzus persicae, Rhopalosiphum maidis, R. padi,
Rhopalomyzus poae, Schizaphis graminum, Sitobion avenae, Therioaphis trifolii forma
maculata and Uroleucon ambrosiae

Seedborne aspects: MDMV has been detected at levels of about 0.5% in maize seeds
Impact: MDMV causes economic losses in maize, including field maize, sweetcorn and maize inbred
lines (seed crop), as well as sorghum, including silage sorghum, grain sorghum and broom maize.
Infection on maize plants affects growth stages of development, leaf area, fertility and mature weights,
number of seeds and rows, yield (seed yield, total yield), 1000 grain weight, seed quality (viability), and
susceptibility of infected plants to other pathogens/diseases.

Diagnosis: MDMV can be differentiated from sugarcane mosaic potyvirus, sorghum mosaic potyvirus
and Johnson grass mosaic potyvirus in several ways. The quickest and most reliable methods are
infectivity (bioassays), serology (serodiagnosis) (Ford et al., 1989) and, more recently, RT-PCR

Detection and inspection: Dwarf mosaic on maize and sorghum plants is easily observed. At least three
surveys should be undertaken in order to detect the disease and to estimate its intensity in maize or
sorghum crops. The best time for the first survey is when plants have 5-7 leaves, the second should be
performed around the stage of silking and heading, and the third should be later in the season, before
plants start to senesce and change colour.

Similarities to other species: MDMV is a member of the Potyvirus genus of the Potyviridae family, and
has a close relationship to the subgroup of Sugarcane mosaic virus.

Prevention and control

Use tolerant commercial corn hybrids
Avoidance of aphid vectors


10. Disease: Maize streak virus

Domain: Virus
Group: "ssDNA viruses"
Group: "DNA viruses"
Family: Geminiviridae
Genus: Mastrevirus
Species: Maize streak virus
Names (English and local): MSV
Description/ Characteristic: The virus causes a white to yellowish streaking on the leaves. The streaks
are very narrow, more or less broken and run parallel along the leaves.
Geographical distribution: The virus occurs in the United States, Canada, Jordan, eastern Europe, and

Risk of introduction: There is no phytosanitary risk.

Host range: Sugarcane, sorghum, millet, wheat, barley, oats, rye and wild grasses can also be severely

Symptom or Damages: Infected plants are stunted with mottled green and yellow-streaked leaves.
Streaks are parallel, but often discontinuous. Isolates give a symptom range from mild mosaic to severe
chlorosis. Symptoms vary with wheat cultivar, strain of the virus, time of infection, and environmental
conditions. Heads may be sterile. Leaves can become necrotic.

Biology and ecology: Classical work by Storey (1939), summarized by Bock (1974) and Rose (1978),
elucidated the vector relations of MSV. The virus may be acquired within 1 hour (minimum 15 seconds)
of feeding on an infected source plant and, after a latent period of 6-12 hours at 30C or 85 hours at
16C, may be inoculated within 5 minutes of feeding on a suitable test plant. The virus is retained
through moults but does not multiply within the vector.

Means of movement and dispersal: The virus is transmitted by leafhoppers (Cicadulina mbila and C.
bipunctella zeae)
Impact: Maize streak virus is a serious constraint to maize production in sub-Saharan Africa. The
reduction in yields depends on the time of infection. Plants infected at early stage usually do not
produce any cobs. Yield losses in East Africa vary between 33 and 55% under natural infection
conditions. In Nigeria, 75-100% of maize plants can be infected at the end of the growing season.
However, resistant varieties in these areas appear to withstand these epidemics (Anon., 1983).

Diagnosis: Transmission using the vector species Cicadulina mbila to indicator plants has traditionally
been the favoured diagnostic method. The maize cultivar 'Golden Bantam' is a suitable indicator host. All
characterized isolates of MSV infect this maize genotype but only the MSV-A isolates are capable of
producing symptomatic infections in many other cultivated genotypes (particularly those with moderate
MSV resistance). The single characterized Digitaria streak virus isolate (which was previously thought to
be an Indian isolate of MSV but is now regarded as a distinct virus species) is not transmitted to maize
by its vector, Nesoclutha declivata, but will produce symptoms in maize when clones of the virus are
directly inoculated into Golden Bantam seedling using Agrobacterium tumefaciens [Rhizobium
Detection and inspection: Inspect leaves for pale spots and streaking.

Prevention and control

Use of tolerant, resistant varieties if available.

Plant early in the season.
Eradicate grass weeds.
Control vectors.

1. Cynodon dactylon
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocotyledonae

Names (English and local): Bermuda grass

Description/ Characteristic: C. dactylon is a perennial grass, with underground rhizomes and on the
ground runners. The runners spread horizontally and bear nodes with internodes of about 10 cm length.
They may be flattened or cylindrical, mostly unhaired. Each node roots in the soil and produces short
culms (tillers), up to 25 cm high, but develop into prostrate runners under less dense conditions. The
almost unique character of the Cynodon genus of at least two and often three leaves at each node can
be seen on the extended runners.

Geographical distribution: C. dactylon is thought to have originated in Africa but now occurs worldwide
in both tropical and subtropical regions including Asia, North, Central and South America, the Caribbean,
and islands in the Pacific Ocean). It also spreads into temperate areas of Europe and North America but
is limited by sensitivity to prolonged frost.

Summary of invasiveness: Currently, C. dactylon is listed as invasive in many countries including

Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Chile,
Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and many islands in the Pacific Ocean such as Hawaii, Fiji, and
French Polynesia among others

History of introduction and spread: The date of the initial introduction of C. dactylon into new habitats
is unclear mainly because it has been repeatedly introduced in most countries where it is now present.
In the USA, this species was introduced in 1807 and in Puerto Rico in 1876. Since 1943, many cultivars
have been created and introduced in the USA, including among others the variety Coastal introduced
in Georgia in 1943, Alicia introduced in Texas in 1967, Grazer introduced in Louisiana in 1985; and
Florakik introduced in Florida in 1994 (Cook et al., 2005).

Risk of introduction: C. dactylon has high potential for further spread in those areas where it is still
absent. Ecophysiological and genetic traits coupled with both forms of propagation give this species a
high score for success in almost any ecosystem.

Habitat: C. dactylon requires moderate warmth. It is tolerant of extremely high temperatures but is
susceptible to hard or prolonged frost. It is especially predominant in subtropical conditions as a weed in
both annual and perennial crops and in pastures, fallows and waste areas. It occurs under semi-arid and
irrigated conditions on a wide range of soil types of varying pH and salinity.

Host range: The crops in which it is most commonly a major problem are those of the subtropics that
are planted in wide rows, for example, cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, citrus, olive, deciduous fruit, forestry
and ornamental species and many vegetables, but also some closer-planted but less competitive crops
such as rice, lucerne, mixed lucerne and grass pastures, onion and jute (Labrada, 1994).

Biology and ecology: The chromosome number reported for C. dactylon varies from 2n = 18 to 2n = 36
with diploid and polyploid populations (Cook et al., 2005).
Ramakrishan and Singh (1966) and Sarandon (1991) have found differences in total biomass and
biomass partition according to the origin of the population. Sarandon (1991) points out that characters
are highly heritable, which means that high genetic variability for biomass production and variable
architecture allows an ample base for selection, which in most cases is induced by herbicides,
mechanical control or forage production.

Means of movement and dispersal: C. dactylon is extremely efficient at propagation. Natural dispersal
(non-biotic factors) such as water (flooding, irrigation) and agricutural practices (contaminated seed)
and cattle husbandry propagate the seeds with released dormancy. Also cultivators, chisels and drilling
equipment allow runners and rhizomes to be distributed away from a given source.

Natural enemies: a mycoplasma-like organism, which causes pale foliage and commonly occurs in
weedy populations. Damage from natural enemies is rarely sufficient to provide useful control. Many of
the species listed as natural enemies are better known as polyphagous pests of poaceous and other
crops, while others such as Sipha maydis require evaluation before being considered as potential
biological control agents attacking inflorescences and leaves in India (Labrada, 1994).

Similarities to other species: Outside Africa, there is rarely confusion between C. dactylon and related
species. However, in eastern Africa there is frequent confusion with C. nlemfuensis. This species is
similar to C. dactylon in almost all respects but lacks below-ground rhizomes. Two larger, more vigorous
species, which are also without rhizomes and can occur as weeds, are C. plectostachyus and C.
aethiopicus. C. plectostachyus, which is often cultivated as giant star grass, is distinguished by the upper
glume being very short, less than one-quarter the length of the spikelet; and C. aethiopicus differs
mainly in being very robust and woody with multiple whorls of coloured racemes. For further details,
descriptions and keys, see Clayton and Harlan (1970) and Clayton et al. (1974).

Prevention and control: Legumes or other cover crops are sometimes used for smothering C.
dactylon since the weed does not tolerate deep shade. Vigorous crops and higher crop density may be
important in reducing weed competition.

2. Imperata cylindrica
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocotyledonae
Names (English and local): cogon grass
Description/ Characteristic: In south-western Nigeria, satintail is a major weed reducing maize yields.
The rhizomes of this weed often reduce the efficacy of farmers' weed control practice (slashing followed
by 2-4 times of additional weeding) and contribute to high yield losses. In field trials grain yield was 62%
less than in fields where rhizomes had been removed from soil before sowing maize.
Geographical distribution: I. cylindrica is ubiquitous in the humid tropics of west Africa and Asia. It is
virtually certain that the weed can be found in all countries within these regions. It is widespread in
southern China, but Wu et al. (2006) note that attempts to cultivate the weed deliberately as an
ornamental in Beijing failed because of its susceptibility to the cold winter conditions.

Summary of invasiveness: I. cylindrica is a serious weed not only in crops but also in natural areas,
causing serious economic and environmental damage. The ability of I.cylindrica to effectively compete
for water and nutrients, spread and persist through the production of seeds and rhizomes that can
survive a wide range of environmental conditions, and its allelopathic effects and pyrogenic nature,
allow it to exclude native plant species and other desirable plants and dominate large areas of land.

History of introduction and spread: The accidental introduction of I. cylindrica into the south-eastern
USA occurred in Mobile County, Alabama, in 1911 through a shipment of oranges from Japan (Tabor,
1952). I. cylindrica was then intentionally introduced from the Philippines into Florida and Mississippi
between 1921 and the 1940s for forage and erosion control purposes (Tabor, 1949; Dickens and
Buchanan, 1971; Dickens, 1974). I. cylindrica was reportedly introduced into Oregon through ballast in
1971 but there are no recent accounts of its establishment in the north-west USA. According to Dickens
and Buchanan (1971), the eradication of I. cylindrica in the south-eastern USA was recommended as
early as 1948. Collins et al. (2007) concluded that I. cylindrica was able to invade habitats in Southern
USA regardless of the diversity of the flora, hence not obeying Eltons Hypothesis which proposes that
diversity reduces invasibility.
I. cylindrica was introduced into New Zealand in 1911 and is listed as one of the potential problem
weeds in New Zealand as of 1996 (PIER, 2008). According to PIER (2008), I. cylindrica is also an invasive
species in Micronesia and has been recommended for eradication.

Risk of introduction: I. cylindrica is on the Federal Noxious Weed List of the US Department of
Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-
PPQ). It is included in the 1993 Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) List of Most Invasive Plant
Species and is considered as a noxious weed designated for eradication or control in Hawaii and a
noxious weed in North Carolina. It scored very highly in a pest risk analysis for the Pacific, and I.
cylindrica is an invasive species in Micronesia where it has been recommended for eradication.

Habitat: vary from dry sand dunes of shores and deserts to swamps and river mar
Means of movement and dispersal: dispersed by wind over long distances to colonize cleared or
previously uninfested land
Damaged ecosystem services
Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
Host damage
Modification of fire regime
Modification of nutrient regime
Modification of successional patterns
Monoculture formation
Negatively impacts agriculture

3. Dactyloctenium aegyptium
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocotyledonae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Dactyloctenium
Species: Dactyloctenium aegyptium
Names (English and local): crowfoot grass, alam; damong balang
Description/ Characteristic: D. aegyptium is a grass, with characteristic 'bird's foot' digitate
inflorescence, up to 50 cm tall
Geographical distribution: Described as native to the Old World tropics, D. aegyptium has a pantropical
distribution, with some extensions in the subtropics. It is found throughout Indonesia, central America,
the northern part of South America, Africa, the Arabian peninsula, India, South-East Asia and Australia.
In East Africa it is found from sea level to 2100 m
Summary of invasiveness: Producing large quantities of seeds, D. aegyptium is a pioneer grass that
quickly colonizes disturbed areas with light sandy soils, often near to coasts or where water
History of introduction and spread: Although this annual grass now has a pan-tropical distribution, few
records exist on its introduction and consequent spread. An exception is Morocco where it is said to
have been introduced in 1980 via contaminated crop seed and subsequently became a major weed in
many areas by 1996
Risk of introduction: Inspection of shipments of grain and vegetable seed entering Canada have
occasionally identified seed of D. aegypyium indicating the potential for further accidental movement of
this species around the world. It is unlikely to be introduced deliberately as it has no ornamental value
and is not generally sown as a forage grass.
Habitat: D. aegyptium is found in arable lands and waste places including those near the sea; it prefers
light sandy soils in open sunny places that are dry or somewhat moist. It becomes established in
disturbed areas, particularly agricultural fields in tropical and warm temperate areas.
Biology and ecology: D. aegyptium is an annual grass which reproduces mainly by seeds but which has
creeping or spreading stems that root at the lower nodes. It flowers all year round in warm regions. In
summer rainfall areas of South Africa, flowering is from January to April (van Oudtshoorn, 1999). One
plant can produce up to 66,000 seeds which, after 19 years, still attained 5% germination (Holm et al.,
1977). Dispersal and propagation of seed occurs by animals and birds.
Means of movement and dispersal:
Natural dispersal
This grass is a small-seeded annual. Dispersal is likely to be in water run-off and by seed-eating
insects, birds and mammals.
Agricultural practices
Tillage for land preparation spreads seed of D. aegyptium locally in an infested field. Seed may
also be carried in soil on tractors and implements from site to site.
Impact: D. aegyptium is a ubiquitous weed in many cropping systems around the world; the level of
infestation and damage caused vary according to crop and location.
Detection and inspection: D. aegyptium is usually identified initially by the characteristic 'bird's foot'
arrangement of the inflorescence with 4-8 spreading spikes. It is sometimes found as seed during
inspections of seed samples.
Similarities to other species: D. aegyptium may be readily confused with D. giganteum, although this
plant is usually taller (culms up to 150 cm) and more robust than D. aegyptium. The anthers of D.
aegyptium are 0.3-0.5 mm long, with the connective tissue clearly visible; they are 1.5-2.5 mm long in D.
giganteum, with the connective tissue invisible.
Prevention and control: early weeding to correspond with peaks of germination; weeding during the
critical period of the crop that is infested; weeding before maturation of weed seeds, to prevent
dissemination; preparation of a weed-free seedbed; rotation of crops; and the use of living or dead
organic mulches

4. Eleusine indica
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocotyledonae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Eleusine
Species: Eleusine indica
Names (English and local): goosegrass bakis-bakisan; bang-angan; bikad-bikad; bila-bila; palagtiki
Description/ Characteristic: E. indica is a tufted annual grass, prostrate and spreading, or erect to about
40 cm, depending on density of vegetation but not usually rooting at the nodes.
Geographical distribution: The geographical origin of E. indica is uncertain but it is considered native to
Africa and temperate and tropical Asia. Now it is distributed almost throughout the tropical world and
extends significantly into the sub-tropics, especially in North America, Europe and Africa
Summary of invasiveness: E. indica is primarily listed as an agricultural and environmental weed and is
considered a serious weed in at least 42 countries. This species is described as a dominant weed
especially in farming systems and annual row-crops where it grows vigorously and produces abundant
History of introduction and spread: E. indica has probably been repeatedly introduced in most countries
where it is now present, making it very difficult to determine its history of introduction into new
habitats. In the USA, this species was introduced around the 1800s. In the West Indies, it was first
recorded in 1815 in Cuba, 1867 in Martinique, 1876 in US Virgin islands, and 1885 in Jamaica
Risk of introduction: The risk of introduction of E. indica into new habitat is very high. This species is one
of the most common agricultural and environmental weeds in tropical and subtropical regions of the
world. It has ecophysiological and genetic traits that, coupled with the high number of seeds produced
for each individual plant, give it a high score for successful invasion in almost any ecosystem
Habitat: typical weedy species of the tropics and sub-tropics, flourishing in cultivated and other
disturbed situations on a wide range of soil types, though generally favoured by high fertility
Host range: may occur in virtually any annual crop in the tropics and sub-tropics and also in many
perennial crops and pastures. It is perhaps most conspicuous in annual row-crops such as cereals,
legumes, cotton, tobacco and vegetable crops in which it is able to establish rapidly before there is
adequate shading from the crop
Means of movement and dispersal: A single plant has the potential to produce more than 50,000 seeds
which can be easily dispersed by wind and water, as a contaminant in crop seeds and soils, and attached
to animal furs, mud and machinery. Seeds are also eaten by wild animals and by cattle
Impact: Negatively impacts agriculture
Similarities to other species: Confusion with other weeds having a digitate inflorescence is possible, e.g.
with Digitaria, Dactyloctenium, Cynodon, Chloris or Paspalum spp., but the combination in E. indica of
flattened stem, bright green leaves, size and many-flowered character of spikelets, lack of awns, etc.
should serve to distinguish it from these species.
Prevention and control: removed by hoeing at the early growth stages
5. Rottboellia cochinchinensis
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocotyledonae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Rottboellia
Species: Rottboellia cochinchinensis

Names (English and local): agingai; anguigay; annarai; bodo; bukal; gaho; girum nagei; nagel; sagisi
Description/ Characteristic: R. cochinchinensis is an erect annual grass that grows up to a height of 4 m
or more. The inflorescence is a cylindrical raceme that is 3-15 cm long. The floral units consist of a sessile
spikelet, pedicellate spikelet and internode. The pedicel is fused to the swollen floral internode. The
spikelets are awnless, 3.5-6 mm long, and 2.5-3 mm wide. The floral units separate and fall as soon as
they mature, from the top of the raceme downwards.
Geographical distribution: is a native of the Old World tropics, and is thought to have an origin in Indo-
China in the area that is now Vietnam. It is now present in tropical areas of the Americas and Caribbean,
as well as being widespread in tropical Asia and the Pacific Islands, tropical Africa, and Australia.
Summary of invasiveness: The erect, profusely tillering annual grass R. cochinchinensis grows up to a
height of 4 m or more and is extremely competitive with annual crops, readily invading disturbed sites
along roads and railways. Commonly known as itchgrass, it has brace roots near the base of the plant, a
cylindrical spikelet seedhead and siliceous hairs on the leaf sheath that can penetrate and irritate the
skin. Individual plants produce 2000 to 16,000 seeds that are shed as soon as they mature.
History of introduction and spread: R. cochinchinensis was first introduced into the USA from the
Philippines in the early 1900s as a potential pasture grass, and into the southern USA early in the 1900s
via the West Indies, in plant material or on equipment, by birds (Aison et al., 1984), flood water,
rodents, and farm machinery
Risk of introduction: The species is one of the most frequently intercepted of the designated Federal
noxious weeds found by agricultural inspectors at the USA border, as seeds often hitchhike on railroad
cars from Mexico (Lehtonen, 2003). Seed has been found as a contaminant of the following
commodities: beans (Phaseolus sp.) from El Salvador and Honduras; false coriander seeds (Eryngium
foetidum) from Trinidad; flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) from El Salvador; mung bean (Vigna radiata)
from Belize; salvia seeds (Salvia officinalis) from China; sorghum seeds (Sorghum bicolor) from Costa
Rica; sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) from India and Sudan; and turkeyberry fruit (Solanum torvum)
from El Salvador. Continued vigilance is required to prevent further movement in seed samples
distributed by research organizations or by seed merchants.
Habitat: is a weed of warm-season crops in a variety of habitats around the world. It also grows along
roadsides and in other open, well-drained sites. It is an important species in old field succession.
However, it also grows in wet places, and even in shallow water. It occurs in habitats with full sun,
moderate shade, or even thickets and forests.
Means of movement and dispersal: Seeds are spread by water and flood water
Natural enemies: Sporisorium ophiuri
Damaged ecosystem services
Host damage
Modification of successional patterns
Monoculture formation
Negatively impacts agriculture
Negatively impacts human health
Negatively impacts livelihoods
Reduced amenity values
Threat to/ loss of native species

Similarities to other species: R. cochinchinensis superficially resembles johnsongrass (Sorghum

halepense) and other tall weedy grasses. However, it can be distinguished from other grasses by the
trichomes (stiff hairs) present on the leaf sheaths responsible for the common name itch grass. Another
diagnostic feature is the jointed cylindrical seed head. The seedheads (spikes) are produced on the ends
of the ends of the main shoots as well as on axillary branches and tiller shoots.
Prevention and control
Shallow tillage can be used to promote itchgrass germination prior to planting. Several agronomic
practices also can help in decreasing itchgrass densities and depleting the soil seed bank once the weed
is established. Crop rotation could help in disrupting the close association between itchgrass and some
crops (such as maize and sugar cane) by allowing the use of alternative control tactics such as other
herbicides (selective graminicides) and flooding. Maize monoculture facilitates the rapid establishment
of itchgrass as a dominant weed.

6. Imperata cylindrica
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Monocotyledonae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Imperata
Species: Imperata cylindrica
Names (English and local): cogon grass, buchid; bulum; gaon; ilib; kogon; parang
Description/ Characteristic: I. cylindrica is a perennial grass which varies in height (30-150 cm). The
culms (above-ground stems) are short, erect and arise from rhizomes (underground stems). The
rhizomes are tough, white, commonly 1 m long but can be considerably more, are extensively branched
and covered with papery scale leaves at the nodes. Roots are fibrous, emerging from the base of the
culm and the nodes on the rhizome. Leaves are stiff, linear-lanceolate, up to 120 cm long and 4-18 mm
wide, with a prominent, off-centre, whitish midrib, scabrid margin and pointed tip. The ligule is an
inconspicuous membrane.
Geographical distribution humid tropics of west Africa and Asia, southern Europe and Africa, East Africa
and South-East Asia
History of introduction and spread: The accidental introduction of I. cylindrica into the south-eastern
USA occurred in Mobile County, Alabama, in 1911 through a shipment of oranges from Japan (Tabor,
1952). I. cylindrica was then intentionally introduced from the Philippines into Florida and Mississippi
between 1921 and the 1940s for forage and erosion control.
Risk of introduction: I. cylindrica is on the Federal Noxious Weed List of the US Department of
Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-
PPQ). It is included in the 1993 Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) List of Most Invasive Plant
Species and is considered as a noxious weed designated for eradication or control in Hawaii and a
noxious weed in North Carolina. It scored very highly in a pest risk analysis for the Pacific, and I.
cylindrica is an invasive species in Micronesia where it has been recommended for eradication (PIER,
Habitat: It occupies a wide range of habitats including grassland, cultivated annual crops, plantations,
abandoned farm land, road and railway embankments, reclaimed mined areas, pine and hardwood
forests, recreational areas and deforested areas.
Host range: I. cylindrica is a weed of 35 crops worldwide (Holm et al., 1977) and 21 crops in West Africa
(Chikoye et al., 2000). Some examples are cited in the list of hosts but most crops of the high rainfall
tropics are likely to be affected by this weed.
Biology and ecology: Genetic variation has also been observed to occur within I. cylindrica. In a study by
Cheng and Chou (1997) based on six populations of I. cylindrica collected from various habitats around
Taiwan, a high level of genetic heterogeneity was found among populations of I. cylindrica. Genetic
differences among the populations were correlated with morphological features. Among the
populations studied, only those collected from mangrove areas possessed a hollow structure in the
midrib of the leaf and villous trichomes on the abaxial leaf surface, features that are considered to be
adaptive mechanisms to saline environments.
Means of movement and dispersal: I. cylindrica is a prolific producer of seeds, which are dispersed by
wind over long distances to colonize cleared or previously uninfested land.
Natural enemies: Fungi occurring on this grass include Bipolaris sacchari, B. setariae, Cochliobolus
heterostrophus, Colletotrichum caudatum, Glomerella graminicola [Colletotrichum
graminicola], Gibberella imperatae, Myriellina imperatae, Puccinia fragosoana, P. imperatae, P.
rufipes, Sphacelotheca schweinfurthiana and Tilletiopsis flava. The bacterium Xanthomonas
albineans has also been reported on I. cylindrica.
Damaged ecosystem services
Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
Host damage
Modification of fire regime
Modification of nutrient regime
Modification of successional patterns
Monoculture formation
Negatively impacts agriculture
Negatively impacts animal health
Similarities to other species: I. cylindrica may be confused with I. brasiliensis (Brazilian satintail) because
of their very similar morphology, but I. brasiliensis differs from I. cylindrica in having one stamen
whereas I. cylindrica has two.
Prevention and control: usually by physical damage, burial or complete removal, or to inhibit growth of
the weed so severely that it ceases to be a problem. In bad infestations, this requires the management
of a large biomass.

7. Ageratum conyzoides
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledonae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Ageratum
Species: Ageratum conyzoides
Names (English and local): tropic ageratum, kamabuag; kolokong-kabanyo; kulong-kogong-babae
Description/ Characteristic: A. conyzoides is an erect, branching, annual herb with shallow, fibrous
roots. It may, depending upon environmental conditions, reach 50-1500 mm tall at flowering. The
stems, which may root where the bases touch the ground, are cylindrical, and become strong and
woody with age; nodes and young parts of the stem are covered with short, white hairs
Geographical distribution: Native to South and Central America, A. conyzoides is a common pantropical
weed that can extend into subtropical and temperate zones where it grows during the summer or as an
Summary of invasiveness: A. conyzoides is an annual erect herb reported as an invasive, noxious weed
in agricultural lands and as a coloniser of open fields and degraded areas, causing crop yield reductions
and affecting biodiversity
History of introduction and spread: A. conyzoides is regarded as the first Ageratum cultivated in Europe,
found in Belgium before 1697. Other early cultivation records are in England (UK) prior to 1714 and in
Sweden by 1748. In was introduced to the Philippines after being carried on galleons sailing from Mexico
to Manila
Risk of introduction: A. conyzoides is a pantropical herb with a high risk of introduction. It is a common,
undesirable weed of agricultural lands along most of its introduced range, and also extensively used as
an ornamental. It is easily transported as a contaminant in grains, soil, clothes and machinery; all
facilitating its unintentional introduction and spread. Its use as an ornamental also contributes to the
species expanding its range.
Habitat; grasslands, forests, wastelands, clearings, roadsides, riparian zones, wetlands, coastal dunes,
degraded pastures and rapidly colonizes cultivated areas on both light and heavy soils
Host range: common weed of plantation crops and overgrazed pastures but can also be found in the
important tropical and subtropical annual crops of rainfed or irrigated dryland systems. It has been
reported from 36 different crops in 46 countries
Biology and ecology: A. conyzoides thrives best in rich, moist, mineral soils, and will not grow in the
Means of movement and dispersal: Seeds are dispersed by wind and water
Causes allergic responses
Competition - monopolizing resources
Competition - shading
Pest and disease transmission
Rapid growth
Similarities to other species: The closely related species Ageratum houstonianum is often confused in
the herbarium or field with A. conyzoides. The habits, fruit and the strong smell of freshly crushed
foliage of both species are similar.
Prevention and control
Short periods of flooding
Using mechanicalmeans
Wide range of herbicide

8. Cleome rutidosperma
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledonae
Order: Capparidales
Family: Capparaceae
Genus: Cleome
Species: Cleome rutidosperma

Names (English and local): spindle top

Description/ Characteristic: Annual herb, up to 1 m tall, widely branched, erect or sometimes spreading.
Subglabrous, pubescent or villous. Alternate leaves 3 (5) palmatisect; rhomboid-elliptic to lanceolate
leaflets, generally asymmetric, the central 0.5-6 x 0.2-2.5 cm, the lateral smaller, acute to acuminate at
the apex, cuneate at the base, ciliolate-serrulate margins; conspicuous nerves specially prominent
below; petiole, up to 7 cm.
Geographical distribution: C. rutidosperma is native to tropical Africa and has been introduced and
become naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, the Americas and the West Indies
History of introduction and spread: it is highly probable that this species was introduced accidentally as
a contaminant or as a weed in nursery materials. In Australia, it was discovered in August 2000, near
Darwin's Fort Hill. Three months later, following a public awareness campaign, it was discovered at a
further four sites. These populations were estimated to have been present approximately 10 years
before their discovery.
Risk of introduction: The risk of introduction of C. rutidosperma is moderate to high.
Habitat: It is present in many types of habitat, including water margins, swamps, coastal sands, coastal
forests, cultivated fields, fallow ground, roadsides and waste ground or disturbed areas.
Host range: It is especially troublesome in irrigated fields and in immature plantations and, in addition
to the crops listed, often infests vegetable fields.
Means of movement and dispersal: spreads by seeds
Competition - monopolizing resources
Competition - shading
Competition - smothering
Competition - strangling
Rapid growth
Similarities to other species: In Africa, it may be difficult to distinguish between C.
rutidosperma and Cleome iberidella. The latter has narrower leaves, a pubescent fruit and longitudinal
thickenings between the nerves. It may also be confused with Cleome viscosa and Cleome gynandra,
other common weedy species. C. viscosa is a native of the Old World, probably originating in Asia.
Prevention and control
thick mulching as a means to prevent the emergence of C. rutidosperma seedlings
integrated cultural control techniques (high crop density, application of fertiliser to promote
crop establishment and interrow culture) coupled with the application of herbicides

9. Euphorbia hirta
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledonae
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: Euphorbia hirta
Names (English and local): garden spurge pansi-pansi; soro-soro; tawa-taw
Description/ Characteristic: A creeping to ascending, densely hairy, little-branched annual herb, 15-50
cm tall. Stems semi-erect, several arising from a central tap root, reddish or purplish, with yellow hairs
and milky sap. A short-lived weed that germinates and flowers throughout the year and fruits in less
than a month.
Habitat: E. hirta is a weed of cultivated fields, perennial crops, grasslands, roadsides, gardens, lawns,
fallow lands, ditch banks and waste places.
Biology and ecology: E. hirta is propagated by seed, and is a C4 species. The lower temperature limit
required for germination of E. hirta is 10-20C. The maximum temperature is 40C. Optimum
germination temperature is 15-40C. It requires light for germination, and is unable to germinate when
buried below the soil surface. Germination decreases with decreasing osmotic potential. Seeds of E.
hirta are unable to germinate at -10.3 bar
Natural enemies: Haplothrips euphorbiae
Detection and inspection: E. hirta is usually easy to recognize. The peculiarly blotched leaves are
interesting and unusual among weeds. It can be distinguished by its hairy stems, opposite leaves, tiny
inconspicuous cyathia (a type of inflorescence) arranged in globose cymes and tiny three-lobed splitting
Similarities to other species: E. heterophylla is larger than E. hirta and the flowers are at the top of the
stem at the centre of a cluster of leaves
Prevention and control
It is easily controlled by hand or hoe (Parker, 1992) and by cultivation.Soil solarization for 30 or 45 days
using four thicknesses of polyethylene sheets (2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 4.0 mm) gave 100% control of E. hirta

10. Ipomoea triloba

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Dicotyledonae
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: Ipomoea triloba
Names (English and local): three-lobe morning glory
Description/ Characteristic: I. triloba is a herbaceous, annual twining vine with milky sap, simple leaves
and pink to pale-purple funnel-shaped flowers.
Geographical distribution: I. triloba was originally a native of tropical America, but is now pantropical.
Risk of introduction: Seeds of I. triloba have been detected as a contaminant of sesame seeds
originating from China, El Salvador and Guatemala. I. triloba has also been intercepted as a contaminant
of various types of imported spices and as a 'hitch-hiker' in cars at the USA-Mexican border.
Habitat: including cultivated fields (e.g., cotton, citrus groves), sandy ground and grassy swamp
margins, on hedges, and in thickets, from low to middle elevations
Biology and ecology
I. triloba is a twining annual herb that reproduces by seeds (Haselwood and Motter, 1966). Studies in the
Philippines indicated that distinct patterns of emergence under natural conditions are related to rainfall
patterns (Janiya and Moody, 1987).
In the Philippines, nicking the seed coat with a blade was the most effective dormancy-breaking
treatment studied. Sand scarification was effective but damaged the seed. A 40-80% saturation level in
the soil favoured germination (Gacutan, 1979).
I. triloba is considered to be an important plant in honey production in Cuba and other Central American
Impact: I. triloba is considered a serious weed in Australia and the Philippines; a principal weed in Cuba,
Hawaii, and Honduras; and a common weed in Argentina, Jamaica, and Indonesia
Detection and inspection: To avoid further worldwide spread, shipments of seeds and spices from
infested countries should be closely examined for the presence of seeds of I. triloba. Devitalized [killed]
seed samples should be provided to plant regulatory inspectors to increase the effectiveness of the
inspection. To avoid losses and costs of control, field surveys should be conducted to permit early
detection and eradication of this noxious weed before it becomes firmly established.
Prevention and control
Field studies to evaluate different herbicides and herbicide combinations in the Philippines showed that
pendimethalin alone failed to control I. triloba in maize cv. Pioneer 6181 (Jover et al., 1982). Madrid and
Manimtim (1978a) found that atrazine provided good control of broad-leaved weeds, including I. triloba;
however, oxyfluorfen provided good control for I. triloba but killed the maize.

References Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International


1. Chrysodeixis chalcites
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Chrysodeixis
Species: Chrysodeixis chalcites

Name (English and Local): golden twin-spot moth

Description/ Characteristic
Ovum/Egg : White to pale green and shiny. Dome-shaped with 28 to 32 vertical ribs from the micropyle
to the base
Larva: Mature larvae are 34 to 38 mm long, pale yellow-green with a glassy green to grey head edged
with a black streak. Above the spiracles on each side of the body is a thin dark green or black line
stretching from the head to the seventh abdominal segment, below this is a thicker white line from the
head to the tip of the anal proleg. Spiracles are black. The ventral region is speckled with white dots.
Larvae have only three pairs of prolegs, instead of the normal five, resulting in the looping gait giving
rise to some of the common names.
Pupa: The pupa is 20 mm long, black in a white cocoon which turns brown then black.
Adult: The adult wingspan is approximately 40 mm. The forewing is 15-17 mm, usually gold, although
some individuals have more of a bronze colour. There are two oval silver spots on the forewing although
in some individuals these are united. The hindwing is more pale. There are two prominent crests on the

Geographical distribution: C. chalcites is primarily distributed between 45N and 35S, from southern
Europe and the Mediterranean and the Middle East to southern Africa. Literature referring to C.
chalcites (= chalcytes) in southern or eastern Asia or Oceania actually refers to C. eriosoma

Summary of invasiveness: Although C. chalcites has been recorded in northern Europe, winter mortality
prevents its long-term establishment out of doors. However, it has been able to extend its natural
distribution into northern Europe by establishing in glasshouses. This can be considered as a type of

Risk of introduction: C. chalcites is on the A2 quarantine pest list for South Africa. Larvae of C. chalcites
can move on hosts traded internationally. C. chalcites has also been found in Italy on bananas from the
Canary Isles.

Host range: C. chalcites is highly polyphagous, feeding on many fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops
and weeds in many plant families including Acanthaceae, Asteraceae, Bignoniaceae, Boraginaceae,
Brassicaceae, Convolvulaceae, Crassulaceae, Lamiaceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Orchidaceae, Rosaceae,
Scrophulariaceae, Solanaceae, Verbenaceae and Violaceae. It can be a pest of crops grown outdoors and
in protection, including both shade and glasshouses.

Biology ang ecology: C. chalcites is a polyvoltine species, with up to eight or nine generations per year in
Egypt (Rashid et al., 1971; Harakly and Farag, 1975). After emergence females mate then begin
oviposition within 2 or 3 days (Gasim and Younis, 1989). Eggs are laid on upper and lower leaf surfaces
at night, whilst females are on the wing, females only briefly touching the leaf to deposit one, two or a
few eggs at a time (Harakly and Farag, 1975). Eggs are very widely scattered in the crop (Linden, 1996).
At 20C egg incubation lasts between 5 and 26 days (Gaumont and Moreau, 1961).

Means of dispersal: C. chalcites is not recorded as a vector.

Natural enemies: The hymenopteran parasitoid Eulophus pennicornis was found in glasshouse sweet
peppers in Belgium parasitizing C. chalcites

Impact: C. chalcites is a polyphagous polyvoltine species that feeds on the foliage and fruit of vegetable,
fruit and ornamental crops. It is considered as one of the most serious lepidopteran pests in many
countries although quantitative data measuring damage is lacking.
Detection and inspection: Leaves should be examined on upper and lower surfaces for larvae. Damage
symptoms such as skeletonized or rolled leaves with webbing may be easier to detect.
Similarities to other species:
In Africa and Europe, C. chalcites may be confused with C. acuta although C. acuta is larger and has a
more pointed forewing. The silver spots are also larger (Bretherton, 1983).

In the USA immigrant C. chalcites appear similar to Pseudoplusia includens. Larvae should be reared
to adulthood to confirm their identity (Passoa, 1995).

Prevention and control: Pyrethroids such as cypermethrin or deltamethrin can give control of C.
chalcites. Bassi et al. (2000) reported effective control of C. chalcites using indoxacarb (an oxadiazine) on
vegetable crops in open fields and plastic houses in Italy. Misappropriate use of chemicals can lead to
the development of resistance.


2. Helicoverpa armigera

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Helicoverpa
Species: Helicoverpa armigera

Name (English and Local): cotton bollworm

Description/ Characteristic: Yellowish-white and glistening at first, changing to dark-brown before

hatching; pomegranate-shaped, 0.4-0.6 mm in diameter; the apical area surrounding the micropyle is
smooth, the rest of the surface sculptured in the form of approximately 24 longitudinal ribs, alternate
ones being slightly shorter, with numerous finer transverse ridges between them; laid on plants which
are flowering, or are about to produce flowers.

Host range: The most important crop hosts of which H. armigera is a major pest are cotton, pigeonpea,
chickpea, tomato, sorghum and cowpea; other hosts include groundnut, okra, peas, field beans
Symptom or Damages: Eggs are laid on the silks, larvae invade the cobs and developing grain is
consumed. Secondary bacterial infections are common.

Biology ang ecology: In southern Bulgaria, there are two complete generations a year and a partial third,
winter being passed in the pupal stage in the soil. Adults emerge in the first 3 weeks of May and, 2-6
days later (rarely 10), oviposition begins. This period lasts 5-24 days and, within this time, a female may
lay up to 3180 eggs (up to 457 in 24 h), singly and mainly at night, on chickpeas, cotton, maize, okras,
tobacco, tomatoes, Phaseolus and certain weeds. At 25C, they hatch in 3 days, but can take 10-11 days
in colder weather. The first generation larvae (i.e. the larval progeny of the overwintering generation)
appear in May and feed for 24-36 days; those of the second generation feed for 16-30 days, and those
of the third generation (at 25-26C) develop in 19-26 days. When fully fed, the larvae descend to the soil
and, after 1-7 days, pupate in an earthen cell, 2-8 cm below the surface. The overwintering pupae
remain in the soil for 176-221 days, whereas this stage lasts 13-19 days in the first generation, 8-15 days
in August and up to 44 days in colder weather in September. Longevity of adults is about 3 weeks.

Means of dispersal: H. armigera is effectively a facultative migrant, not displaying typical migratory
behaviour, but responding largely to local environmental cues and undertaking either short or longer
distance flight in directions largely governed by prevailing weather systems

Natural enemies: The important species of natural enemies vary from crop to crop and from country to
country. Many more parasitoids have been recorded by workers in a range of countries than it has been
possible to include here; those included in the List of Natural Enemies are noted as having been of
significant importance, although not necessarily on all crops, in all seasons or locations. Levels of
parasitism are in many cases host-related, particularly in the Trichogrammatidae, parasitism generally
being higher, and by more species, on sorghum than on other crops. There was a notable lack of transfer
of parasitoids from sorghum to pigeonpea where these two crops were intercropped
Impact: H. armigera has been reported causing serious losses throughout its range, in particular to
cotton, tomatoes and maize. For example, on cotton, two to three larvae on a plant can destroy all the
bolls within 15 days; on maize, they consume grains; and on tomatoes, they invade fruits, preventing
development and causing falling.

Detection and inspection: The feeding larvae can be seen on the surface of plants but they are often
hidden within plant organs (flowers, fruits etc.). Bore holes and heaps of frass (excreta) may be visible,
but otherwise it is necessary to cut open the plant organs to detect the pest.
Similarities to other species: In Asia, H. armigera may sometimes be confused with H. assulta (a smaller,
yellower species) on pulses, although the latter is seldom seen on pigeonpea and never on chickpea in
India. In Sudan, H. armigera may be confused with H. fletcheri (which has a row of pale flecks in the
forewing postmedial) on sorghum and some other crops. On rearing to adult, the species may be clearly
Prevention and control: Cultural manipulations of the crop or cropping system and land management
have been tried as tactics to manage H. armigera populations. Trap cropping and planting diversionary
hosts have been widely applied and recommended in the past, although with limited success.


3. Ostrinia furnacalis
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Crambidae
Genus: Ostrinia
Species: Ostrinia furnacalis

Name (English and Local)

Description/ Characteristic: Identity can be confirmed by inspection of adult moths, larvae, symptoms,
and geographic location. This species is closely related to the European maize borer (O. nubilalis) and
hence close inspection of adults reared from larvae or from moth traps may be required.

Geographical distribution: Oriental maize borer is widely distributed in Asia and is a major problem in
China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea,
Vietnam, Laos, Burma and Cambodia. The oriental maize borer is very closely related to the European
corn borer (O. nubilalis) and both species overlap in their geographic distribution in Central Asia.

Host range: Maize, sorghum, sugarcane, ginger, millets, Indian hemp, wild grasses, bell peppers, cereals
and wormwood (Artemesia).

Symptom or Damages: The larvae of O. furnacalis attack all parts of the maize plant. Yield losses are
greatest when damage occurs at the reproductive stages. Late-instar larvae bore into the stem or
branches of host plants or webbed groups of florets or branches. They bore in the shank and cob in the
ear or feed on silk or kernels. The stalk is the most common feeding site for final-instar larvae.

Natural enemies: Various natural enemies including various predators, parasitoids and pathogens play
an important role in controlling populations of Asian maize borers. In particular, wasps of
the Trichogramma species have been introduced to successfully control Asian maize borer
infestation. Trichogramma species are egg parasitoids and have a life cycle of 7 to 8 days. Parasitized
eggs appear pale, dark and depressed.

Impact: O. furnacalis is mainly a pest of maize and sweetcorn. Reduction of maize yield was assessed in
Taiwan by Hsu et al. (1988). Each larva caused 1.7% yield reduction of field maize in the spring crop and
4.4, 5.6 and 2.5% loss of sweetcorn in the autumn, winter and spring crops, respectively. The number of
cavities was a more reliable indicator of yield loss than the number of larvae or pupae.
Prevention and control: The recommended management scheme in the Philippines is based on a
control action threshold: early planting; the use of the microbial pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis subsp.
kurstaki and chemical pesticides; release of the predatory earwig Euborella annulata as a biological
control agent at the whorl and tassel stages; the use of moderately resistant varieties; and sanitation
(Morallo-Rejesus, 1988). Restraints to the adoption of these IPM programmes outside the Philippines
are discussed by Bernardo (1993).


4. Rhopalosiphum maydis
Name (English and Local): corn aphid

Description/ Characteristic: The small, greenish blue adults females do not lay eggs but give birth to
nymphs. In crowded colonieswinged forms are produced that eventually migrate to other plants. Skins
that have been shed give the colonies a whitish appearance.

Symptom or Damages:
Feeds primarily in corn whorls
Removes moisture and nutrients
Excess sap ingested is secreted as sticky honeydew which may attract ants
Heavy infestation turns leaves red or yellow from nutrient loss and stress, which may shrivel and
Colony may expand to tassel at emergence; tassel may be killed from extensive feeding
Late season colonies move to the lower stalk and ear husk or other protected areas of the plant

Favorable conditions for crop injury:
o Warm temperatures (77 F +)
o Drought stressed plants
o Low populations of natural enemies
Host range is corn, barley, sorghum, wild grasses, cultivated grasses, winter wheat, other
The winter host of corn leaf aphid is winter barley but winter rye and winter wheat are
Pollination is NOT affected unless nearly all tassels are covered with aphids
Aphids interfere with photosynthesis and cause water and nutrient stress, reducing ear size and

Prevention and control:

When the crop is under moisture stress populations may increase rapidly
Aphid populations are highly susceptible to control from natural enemies,especially scout fields
which have had early season insecticide applications as it may be conducive to aphid outbreaks
Scout three and two weeks prior to tasseling. Consider treating if colonies of 30-100 CLA can be
found in the whorl, especially if corn is under moisture stress and evidence of natural enemies is
Treating high numbers of aphids at tasseling is usually too late to recover costs or damages
Hybrid Selection There are no truly resistant hybrids to CLA, nor is there any transgenic
approach to their control at present. However, hybrids that exert their tassel better under stress
may allow natural enemies access to the aphid and thus result in fewer highly infested plants
Select pesticides that do not harm beneficials

5. Prostephanus truncatus

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Bostrichidae
Genus: Prostephanus
Species: Prostephanus truncatus

Name (English and Local): larger grain borer

Description/ Characteristic:
The larvae are white, fleshy and sparsely covered with hairs. They are parallel-sided, i.e. they do
not taper. The legs are short and the head capsule is small relative to the size of the body.
The adult has the typical cylindrical bostrichid shape. The declivity is flattened and steep and has
many small tubercles over its surface. The limits of the declivity, apically and laterally, are marked by a
carina. The antennae are 10-segmented and have a loose three-segmented club; the 'stem' of the
antenna is slender and clothed with long hairs and the apical club segment is as wide as, or wider than,
the preceding segments. The body is 3-4.5 mm long.

Summary of invasiveness: On a local scale, the pest flies from environments where population density is
high or food exhausted to seek new hosts, usually in subsistence farmers' granaries. It locates stored
product hosts, such as maize and dried cassava either by chance or because they are already infested
and harbour males releasing aggregation pheromone. This type of host selection leads to very dense
populations of the pest in a few farm stores surrounded by other stores showing no signs of infestation.

History of introduction and spread: P. truncatus was probably introduced accidentally into Africa in the
late 1970s, but was first recorded in 1981. It was introduced separately into East and West Africa and a
summary of its spread into 11 African countries is provided by Hodges (1994). In Zambia, for example, it
was first recorded near the Tanzanian border in 1993, but was subsequently spread throught the
country in 1995 following the importation of infested maize (Sumani, 2000).

Risk of introduction: P. truncatus was probably introduced accidentally into Africa in the late 1970s, but
was first recorded in 1981. It was introduced separately into East and West Africa and a summary of its
spread into 11 African countries is provided by Hodges (1994). In Zambia, for example, it was first
recorded near the Tanzanian border in 1993, but was subsequently spread throught the country in 1995
following the importation of infested maize (Sumani, 2000).

Host range: P. truncatus is a serious pest of stored maize and dried cassava roots, and will attack maize
in the field just before harvest. Attempts to rear the species on cowpea, haricot beans [Phaseolus
vulgaris], cocoa, coffee beans and rough rice in the laboratory have been unsuccessful, although
development is possible on soft wheat varieties, and adult feeding may damage these other

Symptom or Damages: Adults tunnel through stored maize grain or other starchy products, such as
dried cassava chips, creating large quantities of dust. Larvae and pupae may be found in the tunnels
made by the adults.

Means of dispersal: P. truncatus is spread over longer distances almost entirely through the import and
export of infested grain. Local dispersal is through the local movement of infested grain and by flight
activity of the adult beetles themselves.

Natural enemies: Only one predator, Teretrius (formerly Teretriosoma) nigrescens, has been associated
with P. truncates.

Prevention and control: The most effective method of controlling P. truncatus in maize is to admix a
dilute dust insecticide. P. truncatus is highly susceptible to synthetic pyrethroid insecticides such as
permethrin and deltamethrin. However, these insecticides are relatively ineffective against other
storage pests such as Sitophilus spp. and Tribolium castaneum, which occur in the same pest complex
and are more susceptible to organophosphorus insecticides. Both types of insecticide are applied in
order to control the whole complex (Golob et al., 1985; Golob and Hanks, 1990). Combinations such as
pirimiphos-methyl and permethrin, deltamethrin and pirimiphos-methyl or fenitrothion and fenvalerate
have been used successfully to protect farm-stored grain. Fumigation with phosphine is very effective in
large-scale stores.


6. Spodoptera frugiperda

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Spodoptera
Species: Spodoptera frugiperda

Name (English and Local): fall armyworm

Description/ Characteristic: Eggs are spherical (0.75 mm diameter); they are green at the time of
oviposition and become light brown prior to eclosion. Egg maturity takes 2-3 days (20-30C). Eggs are
usually laid in masses of approximately 150-200 eggs which are laid in two to four layers deep on the
surface of the leaf. The egg mass is usually covered with a protective, felt-like layer of grey-pink scales
(setae) from the female abdomen. Up to 1000 eggs may be laid by each female.

Summary of invasiveness: The fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda is a Lepidpopteran pest that feeds
in large numbers on leaves and stems of more than 80 plant species, causing major damage to
economically important cultivated grasses such as maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane but also other
vegetable crops and cotton.

Risk of introduction: S. frugiperda is on the EPPO A1 list of quarantine pests and is intercepted
occasionally in Europe on imported plant material (Seymour et al., 1985). Although the pathway(s) of
introduction are as yet unidentified, its appearance in Africa in 2016 raises the level of threat to other
African locations and tropical or subtropical regions of the world.

Host range: S. frugiperda is a polyphagous pest which shows a definite preference for the Poaceae. It is
most commonly recorded from wild and cultivated grasses; from maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane.

Symptom or Damages: Seedlings are fed upon within the whorl. Larger larvae can cut the base of the
plant. Mature plants suffer attack on reproductive structures. On tomato plants, buds and growing
points may be eaten and fruits pierced. Maize leaves are eaten and the whorl (funnel) may be a mass of
holes, ragged edges and larval frass. Young larvae skeletonize the leaf lamina. Early in the season, severe
feeding damage to young plants can kill the growing point; a symptom called 'dead heart' in maize.
Maize plants may have the cobs attacked by larvae boring through the kernels. At high densities, large
larvae may act as armyworms and disperse in swarms, but they often remain in the locality on wild
grasses, if available.

Biology ang ecology: Eggs are laid at night on the leaves of the host, stuck to the lower surface of the
lower part of the lower leaves, in tight clusters of 100-300 and sometimes in two layers, usually covered
with a protective layer of abdominal bristles. Hatching requires 2-10 days (usually 3-5). The young larvae
feed deep in the whorl; the first two instars feed gregariously on the underside of the young leaves
causing a characteristic skeletonizing or 'windowing' effect, and the growing point can be killed. Larger
larvae become cannibalistic and thus one or two larvae per whorl is usual. The rate of larval
development through the six instars is controlled by a combination of diet and temperature conditions,
and usually takes 14-21 days.

Means of dispersal: S. frugiperda is a regular annual migrant

Natural enemies: Efforts were made to introduce the egg parasitoid, Telenomus remus, into countries
where it had not already been found.
Impact: S. frugiperda is found widely throughout the warmer parts of the New World. Damage results
from leaf-eating and healthy plants usually recover quite quickly, but a large pest population can cause
defoliation and resulting yield losses; the larvae then migrate to adjacent areas in true armyworm

Detection and inspection: Detection is facilitated by searching fields for leaf feeding damage and by
pheromone traps.

Similarities to other species: Adults of S. frugiperda can be confused with those of S. exempta and S.

Prevention and control: Control is largely achieved in the northern range through a winter kill by
exposing larvae and pupae within the upper soil surface. Freezing temperatures cause high larval
mortality. Therefore, clean cultivation and weeding are recommended.


7. Leucopholis irrorata

Name (English and Local): White grubs

Description/ Characteristic: shaped with a brown head and 3 pair of legs. Some species of whitegrubs
(e.g. Phyllophaga spp, Heteronychus spp.) feed on roots of maize plants. Root damage is manifested by
wilting seedlings, poor stands, and patches of tilted or lodged plants showing uneven growth. Injured
plants can easily be pulled out of the ground.

Habitat: Ovipositon and natural habitat are in wooded or grassy areas, and different species probably
have different specific host plants

Host range: Corn and other row crops are incidental hosts of larval white grubs

Symptom or Damages:
Young plants are stressed and turn light tan, yellow, or purple from nutrient and moisture stress
Plants wilt, grow slowly and may die, reducing stands
Plants that survive are usually behind in development compared to surrounding plants

Impact: Feeding of adults on maize leaves is usually not of economic importance. However, adults of the
black maize beetles (Heteronychus spp.) are reported as major pests of cereals in many parts of Africa.
They eat the stems of young shoots just below the ground. One adult beetle may destroy several
seedlings in a row.

Detection and inspection: Examination of soil and roots of affected plants will reveal the characteristic
white C-shaped grubs of varying sizes. Species can be confirmed by detailed examination of larvae setae
or examination of genitalia of adult beetles. Due to the long life cycle, rearing of larvae to adulthood
may not be practical.

Similarities to other species:

True white grub identified by two parallel rows (zipper) of hairs on raster
Annual white grub identified by lack of parallel rows of hairs on their raster; the hairs are
randomly scattered
Annual white grub feeds on organic matter in soil

Prevention and control:

Remove old plants and weeds before planting.

Plough and harrow the field to expose eggs and grubs to predators (e.g. ants and birds) and to
desiccation by the sun. Once exposed, they can also be picked by hand. This is feasible in small
Provide conditions for growing healthy plants. They can tolerate grub feeding without serious
Ensure proper drainage. Grubs love moist soil, especially with decaying organic matter. Female
beetles prefer to lay eggs on moist-decaying organic matter.
Avoid planting maize immediately after old pasture in areas where grubs are frequently seen.
Practise crop rotation. In particular, in fields where whitegrubs are common.
Use trap crops and / or repellent plants. Good trap crops are African marigold, sunflower, and
castor. Repellents plants are chives, garlic, tansy, and catnip. The crops trap and repel adult
beetles from attacking the main crop grown (Golden Harvest Organics, 2003).


8. Papaipema nebris

Name (English and Local): Common stalkborer

Geographical distribution: Native to North America; may be found in most areas east of the Rockies:

Habitat: Highest incidence usually occurs in rows closest to grass field borders, waterways, or terraces
with large weeds

Host range: corn, quackgrass, giant ragweed, wirestem muhly, tomato and occasionally soybeans

Symptom or Damages:
Stalk borers tunnel into corn stalks above the soil or climb directly into the whorl resulting in
tattered leaves
Young plants (VE-V3) may be killed by tunneling below the growing point
On older plants (V4-V8), the leaves will usually discolor, wilt, and die if tunneling is between
them and the growing point; often called "dead heart"
Plants infested after the V8 stage usually show little visible injury
Non-lethal infestations in early stage plants cause stunting, tillering, delayed development, and
increased frequency of barren plants, reducing yield

Prevention and control:

Tillage or herbicide grass control in the prior fall will reduce ovipositional attractiveness
Burning grassy field borders before planting may destroy eggs
Begin scouting at about 1300 GDU (41 F base) accumulation since January 1
Grassy or weedy field edges, such as shelterbelts, terraces, waterways
No-till fields with heavy vegetation prior to burn down
Resistance available
Use of YieldGard YGCB may suppress common stalk borer so pesticides are not necessary
Pesticide use and timing
Most effective if timed when larva are leaving host plants after a herbicide application
Maximum 80% effective when used on infested plants, spray only infested areas of the field
On corn plants below V6, less than 10% infestation may warrant spot treatment, later than V7
nearly 100% of the plants must be infested to warrant treatment

9. Sitophilus zeamais

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Dryophthoridae
Genus: Sitophilus
Species: Sitophilus zeamais

Name (English and Local): corn weevil

Description/ Characteristic: These developmental stages are all found within tunnels and chambers
bored in the grain and are thus not normally seen. The larvae are apodous.

Geographical distribution: found in temperate countries

Host range: predominantly found associated with maize grain

Symptom or Damages: The eggs, larvae and pupae are not normally seen because they develop inside
intact grains. Adult emergence holes with irregular edges are apparent some weeks after the initial
attack. Adults can be found wandering over the surface of grain.

Biology ang ecology: Upon hatching, the larva begins to feed inside the grain, excavating a tunnel as it
develops. There are four larval instars: in English wheat at 25C and 70% RH, pupation occurs after about
25 days, although development periods are extremely protracted at low temperatures (e.g. 98 days at
18C and 70% RH). Pupation takes place within the grain; the newly developed adult chews its way out,
leaving a large, characteristic emergence hole. Total development periods range from about 35 days
under optimal conditions to over 110 days in unfavourable conditions (Birch, 1944; Howe, 1952). The
actual length of the life cycle also depends upon the type and quality of grain being infested: for
example, in different varieties of maize, mean development periods of S. zeamais at 27C and 70% RH
have been shown to vary from 31 to 37 days.

Natural enemies: pteromalids

Impact: In maize or sorghum, attack may start in the mature crop when the moisture content of the
grain has fallen to 18-20%. Subsequent infestations in store result from the transfer of infested grain
into store or from the pest flying into storage facilities, probably attracted by the odour of the stored

Similarities to other species: S. zeamais can be separated from S. granarius by the presence of wings
beneath the elytra (absent in S. granarius) and by having circular, rather than oval, punctures on the

Prevention and control:

Good store hygiene plays an important role in limiting infestation by S. oryzae and S. zeamais. The
removal of infested residues from last season's harvest is essential. The use of resistant maize varieties
has also shown some potential in slowing the build-up of insect densities in stores. Phenolic compounds
have been associated with grain resistance to S. zeamais.

10. Nicentrites testaceipes
Name (English and Local): Corn billbugs

Description/ Characteristic: All billbugs have their mouthparts at the end of a "snout" or "bill" from
which they get their name

Geographical distribution: Billbugs that sometime feed on corn exist across the United States but are
more of a problem in the Southeast and the Southern Corn Belt


Poorly drained, organic soils

Corn-after-corn fields
No-till corn fields
Fields infested with yellow nutsedge or grassy perennials with a heavy corm or rootstock

Host range: primarily larger grasses, sedges and rushes

Symptom or Damages:
Corn leaves twisted and fail to uncurl because of corn billbugs
Rows of oval holes in whorl leaves
Small plants may be killed
Excessive tillers on surviving plants
Injury often more severe in border rows
Corn susceptible to injury to the V6 leaf stage
Larvae will tunnel into the base of the plant

Natural enemies: No significant natural enemies known


Severe infestations have reduced yields up to 40%

Damage is most severe in yellow nutsedge-infested fields or along border rows with this weed

Detection and inspection:
Similarities to other species: Corn billbug damage can be easily confused with wireworm, cutworm,
seedcorn maggot, stink bug and seedcorn beetle.

Prevention and control:

Cultural Controls:

Crop rotation with a non-grass crop

Early planting with good fertility to grow the seedling rapidly past the susceptible stages
Plant strong emerging and fast-growing hybrids
Control yellow nutsedge and other weeds
Scout susceptible fields for first 3 weeks after emergence

Chemical Controls:

At-planting soil insecticide

Seed treatment insecticide may reduce pressure
Rescue treatments may be used with fair success if fields are scouted shortly after corn