Aspects of biology and ecology of citrus leafminers (lepidoptera: gracilariidae) in major citrus growing regions of Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Field investigations on the occurrence, incidence and damage severity of the Citrus Leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) on Citrus crops were conducted in Morogoro Rural, Muheza and Kinondoni districts from December 2011 to September 2012. Fifty citrus fields were randomly selected in each of Morogoro Rural and Muheza districts from which 10 000 trees (>5 years old) were examined for leafminer damage signs. A total of 25 seedling nurseries (plants <5 years) were assessed in Kinondoni district. Occurrence of the pest was noted in almost all fields albeit at low incidence (2%). Kruskal Wallis analysis of the incidence data showed neither spatial nor temporal variations between the locations and time of survey. Damage severity in Kinondoni showed an increasing trend from December 2011 to June 2012. Based on the observable morphological features of the collected specimen and damage signs, the pest was suggested to belong to the genus Phyllocnistis and the species citrella. Total development time was longer at 20 0 C and shorter at 30 0 C with 28 days and 10 days respectively. Oviposition period decreased with increase in temperature, from 9.26 days at 20 0 C to 6.21 days at 30 0 C. Female insects lived longer than males across all tested temperatures.


MSc Thesis


Citrus Leafminer, Citrus crops, Gracillariidae, Tanzania, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton