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No.17 (March.2003)

The Monthly Bulletin is compiled from information retrieved from monthly Migrant Pest Reports received from SADC member countries and IRLCO-CSA.

Click HERE to access archived Bulletins and maps.

MARCH 2003

General Summary
Armyworm Situation
Locust Situation
Quelea Situation
General Notices
Notes to Collaborators
Current Map

Reports for March 2003 were received from:
Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and IRLCO-CSA.
No reports were received from Angola, Malawi, Mozambique or Zambia.

SADC Collaborators are kindly requested to read the "General Notices" section.

An infestation of the African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta) was reported in the NW and central parts of Swaziland, but no control operations were carried out. A large and widespread outbreak of armyworm was reported from four Provinces in Zimbabwe during March, and control operations were undertaken. No further reports of armyworm were received from the remaining reporting countries.

Field trials were undertaken against red locust hoppers in Tanzania. No reports of locust activity were received from the other SADC countries and the situation in the region remained calm.

Quelea control operations were carried out in Tanzania against 2 colonies and 7 roosts, in South Africa (39 control operations), and against 1 colony and 5 roosts in Botswana.

Swaziland. (M Mbuli) Predictions of armyworm outbreak were registered at the Simunye trap station. Reports of outbreaks (5th stage larvae) were received from the NW and central parts of the country. No control operations were undertaken as the infestations occurred in grasslands and harvested maize fields. The total area infested was approximately 100ha.

Zimbabwe. (G Chikwenhere) Outbreaks of the African armyworm were reported from the Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Matabeleland Provinces. The larvae (no stage reported) were found mostly on pasture grasses with densities ranging from 10-300 larvae per square metre, while in maize fields densities of 10-30 per plant were recorded. The damage caused by the pest on pasture grass was very high and in some cases reached 80%, and the armyworm were subsequently invading nearby maize fields for further resources. Spraying equipment and Carbaryl 85% WP was supplied to Provinces.

No further reports of armyworm were received from the region.

No locust outbreaks were recorded in any of the recognised outbreak areas were received.

IRLCO-CSA reports that a large-scale field trial of Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum (Green Muscle TM) was undertaken (February-March 2003) against red locust hoppers in the Wembere outbreak area of Tanzania. This was a collaborative project between CABI African Region Centre (CABI-ARC, Kenya), CABI Bioscience (UK), and National Plant Health Services (Tanzania), and was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID, UK), and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Rome. Two doses of the product were tested.

QUELEA (map)
Botswana. (T Moruti) Due to the current drought conditions in the country Quelea outbreaks were not widespread. During March one colony of 14ha was resprayed in the Etsha 1 area, and 5 roosts were controlled (4 explosion, 1 chemical) in Mmalore and Gathwane. Millet and sorghum crops were at risk from these Quelea birds. The control operations were mainly in the southern and north-western areas of the country. 35ha of breeding colonies and 12,5ha of roosts were controlled.

South Africa. (L Geertsema) Thirty-nine control operations (9 explosion, 30 chemical) were undertaken against roosts and breeding Quelea colonies in the Northern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo Provinces near millet, sorghum, manna, wheat, maize, and sunflower crops. Sixteen of these sites were identified as 'traditional' Quelea sites. Four of the breeding colonies were situated in wetland habitat, while the remaining sites were in savannah habitat with thorn, eucalyptus, wattle, and poplar vegetation. The colonies varied in size from 0,5ha to 5ha, with two additional larger colonies of 10 and 13ha where fledglings were present. The roosts varied in size from 0.5ha to 16ha (Koppies). Thirteen of the colonies had either eggs, nestlings or fledglings in the nests. The total area invaded was approximately 156ha with an estimated number of 13 million birds (2,4m at Koppies). The avicide applied was Queletox at application rates between 10-16 l/ha. The estimated kill achieved ranged from 30 - 100%. Non-target bird mortality was recorded at 8 sites: Barn Owl (Tyto alba), Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris), Grass owl (Tyto capensis), Wattled Starling (Creatophora cinerea), and a few terrestrial bird species.

Tanzania. (R Magoma) Seven roosts and two colonies were controlled in Singida and Dodoma. The area invaded was about 61ha, and 35 litres of Fenthion were used to control the birds. (R Magoma).

No further reports of Quelea birds in the SADC region were received, and no surveys could be undertaken in Zimbabwe due to fuel shortages.

1. Three queries were received about the avicide Falcolan recently used in South Africa. The South Africa collaborator sent this reply. "Falcolan was recently registered in South Africa as an avicide. The active ingredient is cyanophos at 520g/litre organophosphate. Preliminary results indicate that the efficacy is slightly better in terms of knock-down effect compared to other avicides. However we (RSA) are continuing a comparative research project to evaluate Falcolan against other chemicals, but the results are still pending." Falcolan is distributed by Philagro SA, and Mr John Mansfield can be contacted at for further information.

2. Please note that new symbols have been added to the map. These indicate counties where no monthly report was received, or where surveys were not undertaken.

3. Please remember to inform the ICOSAMP Co-ordinator of any website addresses or forthcoming workshops that may be of relevance to our group.

Information is gratefully acknowledged from collaborators in SADC and the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) in Zambia. Thanks to Ecoport for hosting our website.

Collaborators are kindly reminded to make sure that the migrant pest monthly reporting forms are sent to the Co-Ordinator by the end of the first week of the following month, so that this information can be included in the Monthly Bulletins. Reports should be sent even if NO migrant pests were found, or NO surveys were conducted.

Reports can be faxed or emailed to:
M Kieser
Fax: +27 +12 329 3278
Email: OR