Abstract— The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of secondary host plants on the embryonic and larval development of C.maculatus. The influences of three secondary host plants were compared to the influence of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.), the primary host plant in the life cycle of C. maculatus. For the experiments, C.maculatus adults were extracted from cowpea seeds and transferred to the seeds of the two secondary host plants used in this study: striped or white Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.). Transferred insects were maintained for two years on the seeds of these plants by regular rearings before being used in each of the different experiments. To determine embryonic development time, couples were brought into contact with different seeds for laying. The eggs that were laid were then observed until they hatched. To identify the different larval stages and determine their respective development time, the seeds were first infested and then dissected at specific intervals in time. The results show a reduction in the embryonic development time in white Bambara groundnut seeds compared to the seeds of the other plants. Development time of the two early instars for all strains was significantly long on the three secondary host plant seeds than on cowpea seeds. However the opposite trend was observed for the pupalstage. Of the three plants used in this experiment, pigeon pea provides the worst conditions for larval and pupalinstar development. These results lead to better understanding of post-embryonic development of C. maculates occurring within the seeds of secondary host plants. This research provides valuable insight into developing appropriate methods for pest control.
Keywords— pest management, secondary host plants, C. maculatus, embryonic and larval development, adaptation, primary host plant.
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