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See detailSilk moths in Madagascar: a review of the biology, uses, and challenges related to Borocera cajani (Vinson, 1863) (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)
Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy; Rajoelison, Gabrielle; Ramamonjisoa, Bruno et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches : Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

Borocera cajani ou landibe (nom vernaculaire) est l’un des papillons séricigènes sauvages dont la soie est la plus utilisée dans le domaine textile de Madagascar. Cette espèce endémique s’observe dans ... [more ▼]

Borocera cajani ou landibe (nom vernaculaire) est l’un des papillons séricigènes sauvages dont la soie est la plus utilisée dans le domaine textile de Madagascar. Cette espèce endémique s’observe dans toute l’île, mais colonise particulièrement la forêt de Uapaca bojeri ou forêt de « tapia » des Hautes Terres centrales. La forêt fournit les aliments à B. cajani tels que les feuilles de U. bojeri. L’espèce secrète la soie quand elle entre en nymphose et construit son cocon. Borocera cajani et son habitat naturel sont menacés par les destructions de l’Homme telles que les feux de brousse, la collecte de bois de chauffage, la production de charbon de bois et la surexploitation de leurs cocons. La production de soie sauvage est en constante diminution, alors que la filière soie implique beaucoup de gens dans l’île comme les collecteurs des cocons, les fileurs, les teinturiers, les tisseurs et les artistes qui transforment la soie en habits, en accessoires et objets. Revitaliser la filière soie est un moyen de favoriser la conservation de cette ressource naturelle et de son habitat forestier. [less ▲]

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See detailTissu social, coopérations et conflits entre les acteurs de la filière soie de landibe dans la région d’Itasy
Diez, Lise; Poncelet, Marc ULg; Rakotoniaina, Naritiana et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches : Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

Wild silk in Madagascar is made by endemic silk moths of the genus Borocera and locally named landibe. In this study, we tried to shed light on the social aspects of the wild silk sector, by understanding ... [more ▼]

Wild silk in Madagascar is made by endemic silk moths of the genus Borocera and locally named landibe. In this study, we tried to shed light on the social aspects of the wild silk sector, by understanding the interactions between the actors of the sector. We interviewed different professionals such as weavers and cocoon harvesters in the country and in the city. The study area was located in villages of the Itasy region, situated 50 km West of the capital, Antananarivo. Moreover, people working in the silk sector were also interviewed in Antananarivo. Analysis of the wild silk’s sector revealed complex dynamics. Each player has his own purpose, not the least of which is finding additional revenues with silk. In the country, cocoon harvesting and weaving are complementary activities to agriculture. The collective actors of the silk sector are the VOI (Local Communities) who are managing tapia woods, weaving women associations, and NGOs who try to develop silk sector in the region. These collective actors cooperate with the local population, but it appears that some conflicts and misunderstandings arise between individuals and associations, which could hamper meeting the shared goals of silk sector development and preservation of the natural environment. [less ▲]

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See detailPlace de la soie de landibe dans l’économie rurale de la région d’Arivonimamo
Diez, Lise; Poncelet, Marc ULg; Rakotoniaina, Naritiana et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches : Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

Wild silk in Madagascar is produced by endemic silk moths of the genus Borocera, locally named landibe. Wild silk is used to produce shrouds and clothes, and provides a great added value. In this document ... [more ▼]

Wild silk in Madagascar is produced by endemic silk moths of the genus Borocera, locally named landibe. Wild silk is used to produce shrouds and clothes, and provides a great added value. In this document, we describe the silk sector in the Arivinimamo region, and we analyze the importance of silk production and transformation as a source of income for rural populations, as observed in 2008. First, the harvest of cocoons does not require any investment and weaving pays more than working as a field hand. In the study area, wild silk brings significant profits to households. In Antananarivo, workshops employ many weavers. Consequently, wild silk is quite important for the region’s employment. However, these activities still belong to the informal sector and it is quite difficult to know the real impact of the sector on the national economy. Wild silk products are mostly sold in Antananarivo, at outdoor marketplaces or in specialized shops. Nowadays, the principal problem of the wild silk enterprise is finding markets. The economic crisis in the country diminishes demand as well as investment possibilities for weavers and enterprises. [less ▲]

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See detailLa soie de landibe : connaissances biologiques et savoir-faire des populations rurales de la région d’Arivonimamo
Diez, Lise; Poncelet, Marc ULg; Rakotoniaina, Naritiana et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches : Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

Wild silk in Madagascar is made by endemic silk moths of the genus Borocera, locally named landibe. For centuries, wild silk has been woven in Madagascar to dress the more powerful islanders or shroud the ... [more ▼]

Wild silk in Madagascar is made by endemic silk moths of the genus Borocera, locally named landibe. For centuries, wild silk has been woven in Madagascar to dress the more powerful islanders or shroud the ancestors at the time of first and second burials. Nowadays, it is mostly wealthy malagasy and foreigners who buy and wear wild silk. By interviewing the cocoon harvesters in the rural region of Arivonimamo, we aimed at a better understanding of their knowledge of the butterflies’ biology and rearing methods. We also interviewed persons implied in the silk sector to describe the techniques that are presently used in silk transformation. In Arivonimamo region, Borocera cocoons are directly harvested in tapia (Uapaca bojeri) forests, and wild silk is still processed in a traditional way. [less ▲]

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See detailNocturnal moth inventory in Malagasy tapia woods, with focus on silk-producing species
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy Maminiaina; Minet, Joël et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches. Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

In Madagascar, the tapia woods (Uapaca bojeri) shelter a wide diversity of moth species, among which the landibe, a silk moth of the genus Borocera. Threatened by diverse pressures – anthropogenic and ... [more ▼]

In Madagascar, the tapia woods (Uapaca bojeri) shelter a wide diversity of moth species, among which the landibe, a silk moth of the genus Borocera. Threatened by diverse pressures – anthropogenic and environmental – its populations have drastically decreased during the last twenty years. We report on night inventories by means of light traps, performed in the tapia woods. We observed at least 68 species, notably another silk producing moth, Europtera punctillata, whose caterpillars are called landifotsy by villagers. We unveiled specific behavioural traits of species sampled during four successive night periods, between 8:00 pm and 4:00 am. sixty-eight moth species were observed, some of them are silk producing species, including landifotsy (E. punctillata). [less ▲]

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See detailLes ressources sauvages comestibles des bois de tapias : inventaire des produits connus et consommés par les villageois
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Malaisse, François ULg; Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy maminiaina et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches. Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques. (2013)

Les populations des Hautes Terres centrales de Madagascar vivent notamment de ressources abritées par les bois de tapia (Uapaca bojeri Baill.). Parmi celles-ci, des ressources séricigènes servent autant ... [more ▼]

Les populations des Hautes Terres centrales de Madagascar vivent notamment de ressources abritées par les bois de tapia (Uapaca bojeri Baill.). Parmi celles-ci, des ressources séricigènes servent autant dans les traditions qu’au commerce à la fois local et touristique. Le landibe (Borocera cajani Vinson, Lasiocampidae) est l’espèce principale qui permet cette exploitation. Ses chrysalides sont également comestibles. Cette ressource en déclin de par les pressions qu’elle subit, et celles subies par la forêt, est loin d’être la seule abritée par les tapia. Dans ce chapitre, nous dressons une liste de produits sauvages comestibles au moyen d’enquêtes réalisées auprès des villageois, avec pour objectif de souligner l’importance d’actions rapides à entreprendre pour sauvegarder cette biodiversité cruciale dont dépendent les habitants de la régions. [less ▲]

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See detailApport de la surface terrière dans la dénomination des formations végétales dominées par le tapia (Uapaca bojeri) à Madagascar
Malaisse, François ULg; Rakotondrasoa, Olivia; Rakotoniaina, R.T. et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches. Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques. (2013)

Après avoir rappelé l’intérêt transcendant d’Uapaca bojeri, essence endémique malgache, pour les populations locales et avoir défini l’importance des apports écosystémiques des formations végétales où ... [more ▼]

Après avoir rappelé l’intérêt transcendant d’Uapaca bojeri, essence endémique malgache, pour les populations locales et avoir défini l’importance des apports écosystémiques des formations végétales où cette essence domine, la diversité des dénominations concernant ces dernières est mise en évidence et les causes sous-jacentes en sont analysées. Une situation analogue a été observée antérieurement pour les forêts claires de type miombo en Afrique continentale ; le concept de surface terrière a constitué pour ces dernières un apport pertinent et a autorisé une typologie valorisante des dénominations. Dès lors, l’application du concept de surface terrière aux formations végétales à dominance de tapia est examinée et son apport éventuel discuté. Un système original est proposé. [less ▲]

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See detailLa filière de la soie sauvage à Madagascar : approche socio-économique appliquée à la région d’Arivonimamo
Coulon, Julien; Lebailly, Philippe ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches : Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

Madagascar has a long tradition of sericulture based on the use of an endemic moth (Borocera cajani). This insect’s larva, also named landibe by the locals, produces wild silk when cocooning, which can be ... [more ▼]

Madagascar has a long tradition of sericulture based on the use of an endemic moth (Borocera cajani). This insect’s larva, also named landibe by the locals, produces wild silk when cocooning, which can be collected in the tapia forest (Uapaca bojeri), their natural habitat. Technology and know-how related to the production of wild silk is specific to the island. Indeed, the silky products are made by traditional methods due to the limited financial resources of the producers. Technological constraints of the silk spinning require manual floss and weaving on traditional loom. The majority of the Malagasy silk produced is currently distributed nationally in different markets and specialized stores through the country but mainly in Antananarivo. The production volume of silky products is very low. However, these products show outstanding technological, visual and textural properties in comparison with the traditional silk industry in Asia. This socio-economic study is looking at the enhancement of landibe by showing the profitability of the sector during the different stages of production, from the collection of cocoons in the tapia forest to the manufacture of finished silky products. Since several decades, a decrease of the volume of wild silk is observes due to socio-cultural constraints, people change their eating habits and change their farming activities. Environmental constraints have modified the amounts of wild silkworm. [less ▲]

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See detailLes ressources sauvages comestibles des bois de tapias : caractérisation alimentaire des produits consommés
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Malaisse, François ULg; Lognay, Georges ULg et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches. Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques. (2013)

Les bois de tapia (Uapaca bojeri) des Hautes Terres centrales de Madagascar regorgent de ressources sauvages comestibles utilisées par les populations locales dans leur alimentation régulière. Afin de ... [more ▼]

Les bois de tapia (Uapaca bojeri) des Hautes Terres centrales de Madagascar regorgent de ressources sauvages comestibles utilisées par les populations locales dans leur alimentation régulière. Afin de décrire ces apports en termes biochimiques, nous avons réalisé des analyses de contenu sur 7 ressources, soit 2 chenilles, 1 araignée et 4 champignons comestibles. Leurs taux de protéines, de lipides, ainsi que leur composition en acides aminés et acides gras ont été obtenus. Les résultats ont été exprimés dans l’absolu mais aussi en relation avec les indices alimentaires couramment utilisés pour définir les qualités protéiques et lipidiques des denrées. Ces analyses nous permettent de constater l’excellent apport protéique que représentent les Arthropodes, et mettent également en évidence leur qualité lipidique. Les résultats de ces analyses sont discutés en faisant le lien avec les recommandations de la FAO/OMS. [less ▲]

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See detailPheromone-based management strategies to control the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). A review
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2013), 17(3), 475-482

We here review pheromone control strategies for species-specific and environmentally safe management of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). This insect pest originates from ... [more ▼]

We here review pheromone control strategies for species-specific and environmentally safe management of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). This insect pest originates from South America and is now considered to be one of the most damaging invasive pests of tomatoes in the Mediterranean Basin countries of Europe and North Africa. After presenting the general principles of sex pheromone-based control strategies, we describe strategies used to control T. absoluta including pest detection, population monitoring, mass annihilation and mating disruption techniques. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyse de la faune entomologique associée à Jatropha curcas L. dans la région de Maradi au Sud-est du Niger
Abdoul Habou, Zakari; Toudou, Adam; Haubruge, Eric ULg et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2013), 66

Jatropha curcas L. is a shrub belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family. It is cultivated in Africa as living fence, and for its seeds, rich in oil that can be used as Biofuel. The inventory of insects ... [more ▼]

Jatropha curcas L. is a shrub belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family. It is cultivated in Africa as living fence, and for its seeds, rich in oil that can be used as Biofuel. The inventory of insects associated with these shrubs present in Maradi (South-eastern Niger) was conducted by combining beating, trapping and visual observation methods. The inventories were carried out from July to September 2010 and were repeated at the same period in 2011. A total of 1761 insects were collected on J. curcas. These insects belong to 45 different species belonging to 30 families. Coleopterans are the most numerous with 32% of captured insects, followed by Hymenopterans (24%), Orthopterans (14%), Dipterans (13%), Heteropterans (10%) and Isopterans (4%). Among the captured insects, only Heteropterans, Orthopterans and some Coleopterans can cause damage to J. curcas in Niger. [less ▲]

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See detailMicroorganisms and semiochemicals as control strategies against phytophagous insect pests
Verheggen, François ULg

Conference (2013)

Aphids are one of the most serious pests of crops worldwide, causing major yield and economic losses. To control aphids, natural enemies could be an option but their efficacy is sometimes limited by their ... [more ▼]

Aphids are one of the most serious pests of crops worldwide, causing major yield and economic losses. To control aphids, natural enemies could be an option but their efficacy is sometimes limited by their dispersal in natural environment. Here we report the isolation of a bacterium from the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum honeydew, Staphylococcus sciuri, which acts as a kairomone enhancing the efficiency of aphid natural enemies, both in the laboratory and in potato fields. Our findings represent the first case of a host-associated bacterium driving prey location and ovipositional preference for the natural enemy. We show that this bacterium has a key role in tritrophic interactions because it is the direct source of volatiles used to locate prey. Some specific semiochemicals produced by S. sciuri were also identified as significant attractants and ovipositional stimulants. The use of this host-associated bacterium could certainly provide a novel approach to control aphids in field and greenhouse systems. [less ▲]

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See detailMicroorganisms from aphid honeydew attract natural enemies and tending ants
Verheggen, François ULg

Scientific conference (2013)

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See detailLes vers à soie de la famille des Psychidae : évaluation de leur nombre et des connaissances locales associées à l’exploitation de leur soie, dans la commune d’Arivonimamo
Hecq, Florence; Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy; Haubruge, Eric ULg et al

in Verheggen, François; Bogaert, Jan; Haubruge, Eric (Eds.) Les vers à soie malgaches : Enjeux écologiques et socio-économiques (2013)

Tapia woods (Uapaca bojeri) are endemic to Madagascar and provide the locals with resources that are usually associated with important financial inputs. Among these resources, silk moths are developing in ... [more ▼]

Tapia woods (Uapaca bojeri) are endemic to Madagascar and provide the locals with resources that are usually associated with important financial inputs. Among these resources, silk moths are developing in tapia woods including Borocera cajani, locally named landibe. B. cajani silk is widely used in Malagasy tradition. These woods also provide habitat for other less known silk moth species, including those belonging to the Psychidae family. Two objectives were defined in the present study: (1) The evaluation of Psychidae populations in Arivonimamo through an entomological inventory and (2) the determination of the role of Psychidae in the life of local population. We also have extracted silk from Psychidae silk moth. Insect inventories conducted from February to May 2010 show that the numbers of Psychidae do not vary significantly during the inventoried period, and that between 2 and 26 individuals are observed per 1,000 m2. Almost all interviewed people underline that Psychidae silk is no longer exploited. By applying, on Psychidae cocoons, the silk extraction method usually applied on landibe, we were able to obtain silk. [less ▲]

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See detailAphid responses to volatile cues from turnip plants (Brassica rapa) infested with phloem-feeding and chewing herbivores
Verheggen, François ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg; De Moraes, Consuelo et al

in Arthropod-Plant Interactions (2013), 7(5), 567-577

Herbivore-induced plant volatiles provide foraging cues for herbivores and for herbivores’ natural enemies. Aphids induce plant volatile emissions and also utilize plant-derived olfactory volatile cues ... [more ▼]

Herbivore-induced plant volatiles provide foraging cues for herbivores and for herbivores’ natural enemies. Aphids induce plant volatile emissions and also utilize plant-derived olfactory volatile cues, but the chemical ecology of aphids and other phloem-feeding insects is less extensively documented than that of chewing insects. Here, we characterize the volatile cues emitted by turnip plants (Brassica rapa) under attack by an aphid (Myzus persicae) or by the chewing lepidopteran larva Heliothis virescens. We also tested the behavioral responses of M. persicae individuals to the odors of undamaged and herbivore-damaged plants presented singly or in combination, as well as to the odor of crushed conspecifics (simulating predation). Gas chromatographic analysis of the volatile blend of infested turnips revealed distinct profiles for both aphid- and caterpillar- induced plants, with induced compounds including green-leaf alcohols, esters, and isothiocyanates. In behavioral trials, aphids exhibited increased activity in the presence of plant odors and positive attraction to undamaged turnip plants. However, aphids exhibited a strong preference for the odors of healthy versus plants subjected to herbivore damage, and neither aphid- or caterpillar-damaged plants were attractive compared to clean-air controls. Reduced aphid attraction to herbivore-infested plants may bemediated by changes in the volatile blend constituent composition, including large amounts of isothiocyanates and green-leaf volatiles or, in the case of aphid-infested plants, of the aphid alarm pheromone, (E)-b-farnesene. [less ▲]

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See detailActivité journalière et comportement d’alimentation de Borocera cajani Vinson 1863 (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) sur deux de ses plantes hôtes : Uapaca bojeri Baillon 1874 et Aphloia theiformis (Vahl) Bennett 1840
Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy; Raminosoa, Noromalala; Rakotondrasoa, Olivia et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2013), 66

Borocera cajani Vinson 1863 (Lasiocampidae) or "Landibe" is a wild silk-moth, which silk is the most widely used in the textile industry in Madagascar. This endemic species is found throughout the island ... [more ▼]

Borocera cajani Vinson 1863 (Lasiocampidae) or "Landibe" is a wild silk-moth, which silk is the most widely used in the textile industry in Madagascar. This endemic species is found throughout the island, but colonizes especially the "Tapia" forest in the central highlands. The species has an important economic, culinary and cultural role in the Island. It is polyphagous and frequents several host plants. The daily activity of the larvae of B. cajani has been studied in their natural habitat on two native host plants of the "Tapia" forest: Uapaca bojeri Baillon 1874 (Phyllanthaceae) and Aphloia theiformis Bennett 1840 (Flacourtiaceae). Continuous observations during 24 hours on 54 individuals of the last instar of B. cajani have been conducted. Daily period of activity were found to vary according to the host plant species. Larvae feeding on U. bojeri allocate 6.9% of their time to feed, while the larvae feeding on A. theiformis spend 3.3% of their time. Only 1.0% (15 minutes) and 0.7% (10 minutes) of the observed period was allocated to movement, in the larvae feeding on U. bojeri and A. theiformis, respectively. Larvae observed on A. theiformis took an average of 3.1 ± 0.2 meals a day, which lasted 15.4 ± 1.3 min. Larvae observed on U. bojeri took an average of 1.9 ± 0.1 meals a day, which lasted 54.8 ± 5.2 min. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence de la plante hôte sur les stades de développement de Borocera cajani (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae)
Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy; Malaisse, François ULg; Raminosoa, Noromalala et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2013), 66

Borocera cajani Vinson (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) is a silk moth endemic to Madagascar that is currently used to produce silk textiles. This silk moth is polyphagous and colonizes forests situated in ... [more ▼]

Borocera cajani Vinson (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) is a silk moth endemic to Madagascar that is currently used to produce silk textiles. This silk moth is polyphagous and colonizes forests situated in the central highlands, mainly constituted by Tapia trees (Uapaca bojeri). Two host plants are commonly used by the caterpillar of this moth species: Tapia and Voafotsy (Aphloia theiformis). In this work we have evaluated parameters of different stage (survival rate, development duration, weight and size, fecundity…) of B. cajani on both host plants. We have observed a 30% higher survival rate on U. bojeri. Larval and pupae duration were shorter on U. bojeri (64,8 ± 1,5 days) than on A. theiformis (87,4 ± 2,0 days). Cocoons were bigger when obtained from larvae fed on U. bojeri. This plant is therefore better for the development of B. cajani and should be used in intensive rearing of this silk moth. [less ▲]

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See detailSilkworm moths inventory in their natural tapia forest habitat (Madagascar): diversity, population dynamics and host plants
Razafimanantsoa, Tsiresy; Raminosoa, Noromalala; Rakotondrasoa, Olivia et al

in African Entomology (2013), 21(1), 137-150

Endemic silk moths (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) in Madagascar have been collected and exploited for centuries by local populations either for food or as a source of silk cocoons from which textiles are ... [more ▼]

Endemic silk moths (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) in Madagascar have been collected and exploited for centuries by local populations either for food or as a source of silk cocoons from which textiles are made. Moth natural forest habitat has also been degraded, leading to a drastic decrease in silk moth populations. However, very few scientific reports highlighted these observations well known by the local people.We have inventoried silk moths species in tapia (Uapaca bojeri Baill.) forests located in the central highlands of Madagascar. Inventories have been conducted during one year from August 2009 to July 2010 by sampling transects in Imamo forests. Three species of Lasiocampidae belonging to two genera were found: Borocera cajani Vinson, Borocera marginepunctata Guérin-Méneville and Europtera punctillata Guenée. These three silk moth species are endemic to Madagascar but only one (B. cajani) is commercially exploited in the silk industry. The habitat, host plants, abundance, life cycle and feeding behaviour of these species in their natural habitat are described. [less ▲]

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See detailOccurrence of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in field crops
Vandereycken, Axel ULg; Brostaux, Yves ULg; Joie, Emilie ULg et al

in European Journal of Entomology (2013), 110(2),

Abstract. The Multicoloured Asian Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is known to thrive principally in shrubby and arboreal habitats. This study focuses on the occurrence of ... [more ▼]

Abstract. The Multicoloured Asian Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is known to thrive principally in shrubby and arboreal habitats. This study focuses on the occurrence of this exotic species and its seasonal abundance in various field crops. The abundance of adults, larvae and pupae of H. axyridis was evaluated over a three-year period, from 2009 to 2011, in four important agronomical crops (wheat, corn, broad bean and potato) in Belgium. From May to September, 48 1-m² quadrats were visually inspected in each of the fields sampled on several farms every seven days. H. axyridis colonized and reproduced in all of the four crops studied, with the largest numbers recorded in corn and broad bean crops. Larvae and adults of H. axyridis were recorded mainly in corn and to a much less extent in wheat and potato crops. From 2009 to 2011, the mean weekly abundance of H. ayxridis remained constant except in corn crops, where the recorded densities of all the immature stages and adults were higher in 2011 than in 2009. The population dynamics of aphids and H. axyridis are well described by a symmetric logistic function (S-shape) of cumulative population size. H. axyridis was not always recorded where aphids were abundant, e.g. aphids were abundant on wheat where no H. axyridis were recorded. H. axyridis start reproducing after the peak in aphid population, suggesting that H. axyridis is able to complete its development by feeding on alternative prey such as larvae and pupae of the same and other species of ladybird and other aphidophagous species. H. axyridis is often considered to be bivoltine but it only completes one generation per year in field crops. The second generation generally develops late in the season in other habitats. [less ▲]

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