Infestation of Achaea janata Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the mangroves of Sandakan

Infestation of Achaea janata Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the mangroves of Sandakan. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Impacts of Climate Change to Forest Pests & Diseases in the Tropics, 8-10 October, 2012, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (2012)


A few thousand caterpillars of Achaea janata Linnaeus were found infesting quite an extensive part of the mangroves in Sandakan, Sabah in December, 2010. Many of the mangrove trees of the species Excoecaria agallocha (Euphorbiaceae) or locally known as 'Buta-buta' were completely defoliated. The high abundance of the looper-like caterpillars was threatening because many invaded the adjacent villages, moving in to the house compounds, defoliating some of the garden plants and agricultural crops, and some even foraged into the houses. This is the first record of such attack in Malaysia. Nevertheless, it has been reported that this species has caused near total defoliation of E. agallocha over a stretch of 500-1,000 ha of a mangrove forest in Sumatra. Besides E. agallocha, the caterpillar was also found on Ceriops decandra (Tengar), Glochidion littorale (Saka-saka), Lumnitzera littorea (Geriting Merah), Sonneratia alba (Pedada), Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea (Landing-landing) and Derris trifoliata (Tuba Laut). Many of these plants were partially defoliated by the caterpillars but not severe. The pest is a widespread species, occurring in the Indo-Australian tropics and subtropics, extending south to New Zealand and east through the Pacific archipelagoes. It is highly polyphagous, feeding on a diverse array of host plants from about 30 families, including forest and fruit trees, ornamentals and vegetables. From observation, complete defoliation did not kill the trees, and new shoots and leaves sprouted quite fast, most likely due to the raining season. It was difficult to control the pest in the mangroves. However, as the caterpillars moved towards the landward margins of the mangroves, contact poison was applied through mist-blowing. Some of the pupae were parasitized by flies and wasps, or attacked by fungi. The many birds seen during the inspection could have fed on the larvae and pupae, thus reducing the pest population. Details of the infestation in Sandakan, biology of the pest and some recommendations on control measures are provided in this paper.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: mangrove
Taxonomy: By Subject > Applied Sciences > Biology
By Subject > Applied Sciences > Environmental Technology
Local Content Hub: Subjects > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Haryati Ramlee
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2021 19:37
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2021 19:37
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