plant health

Integrated management of sugarcane pests with emphasis on biological control


It is estimated that there are more than 1300 species of insects associated with the cultivation of sugar cane as their food source (Box, 1953). However, not all of them are pests of economic importance for the crop; In fact, and depending on regional conditions, only between one and three species present themselves as a serious limitation to production. In this regard, Bustillo (2013) mentions that 23 species of pest insects have been detected in sugar cane plantations in Colombia, and highlights that among them the stem borers Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and the spittlebug Aeneolamia varia (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) are the pests of greatest economic importance in the crops of the Cauca River valley, without ignoring that other insects can, occasionally, cause considerable losses in them, such as This is done by the goat worm, Caligo illioneus Butler (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), the crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and others that potentially become established as pests of economic relevance in sugarcane plantations, such as the spittlebug Mahanarva bipars (Walker) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae), seed weevils Rynchophorus palmarum (L.) and Metamasius hemipterus (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae), winter wren Podischnus agenor (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Melolonthidae), and even the giant borer Telchin licus (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Castniidae), which has been reported in other parts of the country and could invade the Cauca River valley region.

About the authors

Vargas Orozco, GA

Agricultural Engineer from the National University of Colombia with a doctorate in Entomology from Kansas State University in the United States. Linked to the Colombian Sugarcane Research Center, Cenicaña, as coordinator of the Entomology area between 2012 and 2021

Echeverri Rubiano, C.

Biologist from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá campus, with a master's degree in Agricultural Sciences in the field of crop protection from the National University of Colombia, Palmira campus

Aya Vargas, VM

Biologist from the Universidad del Valle, linked to Cenicaña since 2016 where she carried out her professional internship in the area of ​​Entomology, identifying at a molecular level the parasitoid C. flavipes distributed in the Cauca River valley

Ramírez Sánchez, GD

Agricultural engineer, graduated from the National University of Colombia, Palmira campus. He is linked to the Colombian Sugarcane Research Center Cenicaña, since 2009 in the area of ​​entomology; initially carrying out research exclusively on the subject of salivazo Aeneolamia varies

Pabón Valverde, AH

Agricultural engineer from the National University of Colombia-Palmira headquarters, master's degree in Entomology and doctorate in Sciences from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil.

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