The Giant Coffee Looper Ascotis Selenaria Reciprocaria Walk

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Wheat, P.E.
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A leaf-eating Geometrid caterpillar Ascatis selenaria reciprocaria Wak., not eviously recorded from coffee in Kenya, wa colilected from mature Caffea arabica at the cofffee Research Station,' Ruiru, Kenya, for th first time in January, 1961. Four months late. the caterpillar caused considerable defoliation of coffee seedlings in nursery beds at the Coffe Research Station. The following month an infestation was seen near Thika on mature ffee and considerable damage was caused by 'population of 40 to 50 caterpiHars per tree. Shortly afterwards further infestations 01I varying degrees of severity were found in Thika and Ruiru areas where much of t e Kenya coffee crop is grown. Although at the present time it is olear that Ascatis is only of minor importance as an insect pest of coffee, some concern was felt as medium volume sprays of parathion and methyl-parathion at concentrations of up to 0.06 per cent a.i. failed to control ' the -pest. It was therefore decided to investigate its life history 'and -conduct simple insecticide trials to find an insecticidal treatment which would give satisfactory control of the est.
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, xxix (2), pp. 143-146