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African Research Review

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A Study on the Feeding and Growth Patterns of the Variegated Grasshopper Zonocerus Variegatus (L) in the Laboratory

NJ Okonkwo, FN Ezeakacha, EN Nwankwo

Abstract


The feeding and growth patterns of the variegated grasshopper, Zonocerus
variegatus (L) were studied in the laboratory to ascertain the amount of food intake, food assimilated and faeces excreted by its nymph and adult stages on a mixed diet of Cassava (Manihot esculenta) and Siam weed (Chromolaena odorata) leaves. Also, the length and weight of the nymph and adult insects were determined separately while the behavioural patterns of food selection were observed. Although temperature and relative humidity affected the activities of the insects, and were not regulated in the experimental room, these did not affect their feeding pattern and as such, could not be the main factors’ affecting the insect’s feeding and growth patterns. Results obtained from the analysis of data obtained showed that the nymphal stages of the grasshoppers consumed and utilized more feed for growth and development than their adult stages. Consequently, it could be inferred that the nymphal stages would constitute more serious pest problems on the vegetation they attack than the adults. Therefore, significant management of this pest can be achieved when control measures are aimed more at the nymphal stages than the adults.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v5i1.64536
AJOL African Journals Online