African Entomology (2018) 26, 471-480

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P.O. Aigbedion-Atalor, D.D. Wilson, V.Y. Eziah, M.D. Day and I.D. Paterson (2018)
The distribution and abundance of the stem-galling fly, Cecidochares connexa (Macquart) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a biological control agent of Chromolaena odorata (L.) (Asteraceae), in Ghana
African Entomology 26 (2), 471-480
Abstract: Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M. King and H. Robinson (Asteraceae: Eupatorieae) is one of the worst invasive weeds in West Africa, and a serious biotic threat to food security. The stem-galling fly, Cecidochares connexa (Macquart) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a biological control agent for C. odorata, was released in the Ivory Coast in 2003 and first detected in Ghana in 2014. The spatiotemporal distribution and abundance of C. connexa in Ghana was determined by country-wide surveys from 2015 to 2016. Galls were found in varying densities across Ghana but gall densities were consistently low east of Lake Volta. A limited survey conducted in the extreme west of Togo in 2016, found the gall fly also in low numbers. There was a significant correlation between C. connexa gall densities and the distance from the release sites in the Ivory Coast. The distribution and abundance of the gall fly in Ghana could be explained by its spread from the original release sites over time and/or the much drier conditions east of Lake Volta. Cecidochares connexa has dispersed a distance of about 1000 km over a 10-year period and, while there is some evidence that the gall fly is still dispersing towards the east, its range and population size could be limited by the dry climatic conditions in the east of Ghana and in Togo.Actively redistributing the agent over this dry corridor to the more humid and higher rainfall areas of Nigeria, may result in the spread of this agent through the rest of West and Central Africa, thereby aiding the control of C. odorata in the region.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Michael D. Day, Iain D. Paterson, Vincent Y. Eziah

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
classical biocontrol/new introduction

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Chromolaena odorata (weed) Ghana
Cecidochares connexa (weed bioagent) Chromolaena odorata (weed) Ghana