A Faunistic Description of Endemic Arthropods Associated with Sesame

HENRY O. Sintim, Ivy V. Yeboah-Badu, Clement Akotsen-Mensah, Kwame D. Ansah


Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Pedaliaceae is produced mainly in developing countries where abundant and inexpensive labour is available and usually by small holders. It is cultivated for its edible seeds which is high in nutritious fatty acids. In Africa sesame has in recent years been promoted to diversify agricultural production especially in the Sahel region. It has the potential to become an important field crop in Ghana especially in the drier regions. Unavailable field data on constraints to sesame production including its insect pests may be the reason for its non-commercial cultivation in Ghana. A preliminary survey of arthropods associated with sesame, was conducted in the transitional zone of Ghana during the 2009 growing season. In order to achieve maximum natural infestation, no conscious control measure was adopted. A wide spectrum of arthropods including chewers, suckers, pollinators, scavengers and predators were found. In all 60 insect species and 11 spiders were collected and identified at least to family level. It appears that, Araneae, Coleopterans, Hemipterans, Hymenopterans, Lepidopterans and Orthopterans may be important. These arthropods recorded on sesame in Ghana have several implications for the future. This includes several scenarios where these endemic insects will prefer sesame in a host shift situation; the beneficial populations could be exploited and incorporated as field banker crops in local farming systems, sesame could be used as a trap crop or it could be adopted as an attractor for insect pollinators in tree crop plantations. The description, incidence and dynamics of these important insects and spiders of sesame are discussed.


Exotic crops; Sesame; Endemic arthropods; Ghana

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/4788

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/g6140


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