You are here

Error message

  • Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /base/nariweb/index.php:1) in drupal_send_headers() (line 1225 of /base/nariweb/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /base/nariweb/index.php:1) in drupal_send_headers() (line 1225 of /base/nariweb/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /base/nariweb/index.php:1) in drupal_send_headers() (line 1225 of /base/nariweb/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /base/nariweb/index.php:1) in drupal_send_headers() (line 1225 of /base/nariweb/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /base/nariweb/index.php:1) in drupal_send_headers() (line 1225 of /base/nariweb/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /base/nariweb/index.php:1) in drupal_send_headers() (line 1225 of /base/nariweb/includes/bootstrap.inc).

Scientists confirm banana skipper pest in Abau

DPI officer at Kupiano investigating a
damaged banana leaf caused by the
banana skipper pest

Banana skipper butterfly, an exotic insect pest of banana plants, which was reportedly affecting bananas in Abau district of Central province was confirmed by scientists from the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) at Laloki outside Port Moresby. However, they said infestation was localised. A team of entomology officers from NARI’s Southern Regional Centre went to Gavuone village late last year to investigate incidence of the banana skipper butterfly defoliating banana plants following reports from the community. NARI officers said skipper butterfly was the insect pest that defoliated banana plants in Gavuone. The abundance of skipper butterfly was high but the infestation was localised. The banana skipper pest was found only in gardens at Gavuone and not in the surrounding villages like Mananakele, Lako, Vuru and Kelerakwa. The pest was observed defoliating four banana cultivars - yawa, daru, large Kalapua and tall cavendish. Banana is an important food crop in the Abau District. Studies are being done to record and conserve the large diversity. During those studies, the incidence of banana skipper butterly was observed and reported to NARI.

The banana skipper pest's larva

The banana skipper pest came to PNG through the PNG-Indonesian border in 1983. It spread across PNG causing damage to leaves of the banana plant. The pest is common and in abundance mostly during the dry weather period. The damage caused by the pest’s larvae when it defoliates banana plants by eating their leaves and forming them into rolls. The lack of leaves on the plant reduces plant growth and maturity and delays fruit ripening in bunches. Management approaches for the control of the pest were setup after its detection in 1983. A successful collaborative project by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research through the CSIRO Entomology (Australia) and the PNG Department of Agriculture and Livestock between 1988-1991 initiated the introduction of a three biological agents, the most successful being a parasitic wasp (Cotesia erionotae). The long term impact since then has not been investigated and the recent reporting of Banana skipper’s presence and infestation in Abau was an opportunity for further study. NARI scientists said the introduced parasitic wasp was not seen in the area nor was it reared from collected banana skipper larvae and pupae. A different wasp was observed in large numbers in the surveyed banana gardens at Gavuone. Wasps were reared from banana skipper larval specimens in the laboratory suggesting this wasp to be a pupal parasite but further study is required for verification and its identification. By Sharon Agovaua & Amanda Mararuai

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer