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Banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) infestation of cooking and beer bananas in adjacent stands in Uganda
Banana-weevil populations and associated damage were studied in adjacent plantations of highland cooking-bananas (cultivar Kibuzi) and introduced beer-bananas (cv. Kisubi) on a farm in central Uganda. Weevil density and mobility were assessed using mark and rerapture techniques. Residual banana corms and pseudostems were evaluated for weevil damage at various intervals following harvest. Newly harvested cooking-bananas revealed moderate weevil damage that reached the corm centre, whereas damage to beer-bananas was light and restricted to the corm periphery. Weevils attacking beer-bananas preferred post-harvest residues to growing plants and post-harvest stems were far more susceptible to attack than post-harvest corms. Despite the resistance of Kisubi plants, weevil captures and population densities were always higher than those in the Kibuzi plantation. There was no obvious migration of weevils between the two plantations. High weevil populations in beer-banana plantations appear to originate from post-harvest residues and have been maintained by a combination of factors, particularly soil moisture. Yield loss in beer-bananas was probably limited since attack was largely confined to post-harvest residues.