Research locates new species of Diatraea in the Cauca river valley

The recent identification of Diatraea busckella in areas of the Cauca river valley it invites to reinforce the evaluation measures and to improve the pest control methodologies.

Entomology studies carried out by Cenicaña and sugar mills have identified a new species of the cane borer in the Cauca river valley, which will require better management and control of the pest in crops in the region.

According to Germán Vargas, entomologist of the Cenicaña Variety Program, in the center of Valle del Cauca there was an increase in the levels of damage caused by this type of borer, which called attention to the species of Diatraea present in the region. As a result of this situation, different analyzes were carried out that allowed us to conclude that in addition to D. Saccharalis, D.indigenella, and the recently identified D. tabernella, there is also the presence of D.busckella, species of wide distribution in the country.

According to experts, with the identification of this new species of Diatraea in the Cauca river valley, it is clear that work must continue on the incorporation of new and better management methodologies, especially biological control, since although the damage caused is not different from that of other species of DiatraeaYes, changes could occur in the magnitude of the damage caused.

For the Cenicaña entomologist, although D.busckella It has a series of characteristics that distinguish it from the rest of the species, identifying it at the larva level may not be easy, and the ideal is to handle the matter comprehensively: assess the levels of damage by Diatraea in the fields and program the use of biological control in consultation with the pest managers of the mills or private consultants in charge of providing biological control services for Diatraea.

Appearance of D. busckella larvae.
To consult

Working document: 'The sugarcane borers, Diatraea spp., in the Cauca river valley: participatory research with an emphasis on biological control ', available at

Information letter 
Year 2 / Number 1 / July 2014

Full text in version: 
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