Suitability of wild host plants and firewood as hosts of Prostephanus truncatus (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) in Mozambique
Muatinte, Bernardo L.
Van den Berg, Johnnie
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Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) populations are maintained in wild host plants such as trees that act as pest reservoirs from where beetle infestation of maize granaries take place. In this study, we assessed the suitability of plant species sold and transported as firewood as well as other plant species in Mozambique as hosts for P. truncatus. Prostephanus truncatus was only recorded from three tree species, which are sold as firewood, i.e., Brachystegia spiciformis, Strychnos spinosa, and Colophospermum mopane. The pest survived and bred in 13 tree and 7 grass species. Dry wood of several tree species and the grasses Acroceras macrum and Hyparrhenia hirta were suitable hosts for pest development. Sale and transport of certain firewood species may be an important driver of the spread of this pest. The importance of dry maize stalks and several grass species in sustaining pest populations is described for the first time. Several grass species are used as thatch or fencing material and, together with maize crop residues close to small-scale granaries, may provide significant sources of beetle infestation