Biology of the coconut bug Pseudotheraptus wayi on French Beans
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The coconut bug, Pseudotheraptus wayi Brown (Heteroptera: Coreidae), is a major pest of a wide range of economically important crops in Eastern and Southern Africa. The suitability of French beans, Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Fabales: Fabaceae) as an alternative food for mass rearing of P. wayi was determined by elucidating its development, survival, and reproduction on French bean pods in the laboratory. Development and survival of immatures on French beans was comparable to what is reported with two hosts previously used for rearing this species, namely coconut and cashew. Adults survived thrice longer and laid almost twice more eggs on the French beans than was reported for the two hosts above. These findings suggest that French beans are more suitable for mass rearing of this species than coconut and cashew, which have been used previously but can be scarce and too costly.