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Pest Fact Sheet

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Leptocybe invasa, Fisher & La Salle, commonly called Blue Gum Chalcid, is a newly described gallinducing wasp species currently spreading in many countries and causing damage to young eucalypt plantations and nurseries. Galls induced by this wasp can cause serious injuries to trees, thereby weakening them. Information on the taxonomy, distribution, biology and economic impacts of the Blue Gum Chalcid are still meager.

Giant African Snail (GAS) is one of the world's largest and most damaging land snail pests.The Global Invasive Species Database has included this snail among the “100 World's Worst” invaders. It is nonhost specific and can consume at least 500 different types of plants, including breadfruit, cassava, cocoa, papaya, peanut and most varieties of beans, peas, cucumber and melon. The snail is native to coastal East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), but is now widespread on all continents except Antarctica. It is highly adaptive to a wide range of environmental conditions and is capable of modifying its life cycle to suit local conditions. GAS is a threat to the sustainability of crop systems and native ecosystems, has a negative impact on native fauna, and acts as a vector of human diseases.

The coconut leaf beetle (Brontispa longissima) is one of the most damaging pests of coconut and other palms. The larvae and adults of the beetle feed on the soft tissues of the youngest leaf in the throat of the palm. Affected leaves dry up, resulting in stunting of the palm and reduced nut production.

Lantana camara is a low, erect or subscandent, vigorous shrub which can grow to 2 - 4 meters in height. The leaf is ovate or ovate oblong, 2 - 10 cm long and 2 - 6 cm wide, arranged in opposite pairs. Leaves are bright green, rough, finely hairy, with serrate margins and emit a pungent odour when crushed. The stem in cultivated varieties is often non- thorny and in weedy varieties with recurved prickles. It is woody, square in cross section, hairy when young, cylindrical and up to 15 cm thick as it grows older.

It is a perennial twining herb with 5-ribbed branches, pubescent or glabrous; internodes are 7.5 - 21.5 cm long. Leaves are opposite, ovate-deltoid, 6 - 15 x 3 - 9 cm, base cordate, apex acuminate, margins are coarsely dentate, crenate or sub-entire, glabrous on both sides, minutely glandular beneath and 3 - 5 nerved from the base; the petiole is 3 - 7 cm long.

Mimosa diplotricha is a fast-growing, erect shrub and a scrambling climber, which can form dense thickets in a short span of time. It is an annual, although behaves as a perennial. Leaves are bright green, feathery, alternate, each leaf with about 20 pairs of small leaflets, bipinnate, sessile, opposite, lanceolate, acute, 6 - 12 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, sensitive to disturbance. The stem is four-angled, woody at the decumbent base, with re-curved thorns (3 - 6 mm long), up to 3 m in height.

An annual herb, erect, up to 2 m in height;the stem is branched and covered with trichomes.Leaves are pale green, lobed, hairy, initially forming a basal rosette of strongly dissected leaves that are up to 30 cm in length, close to the soil,alternate, sessile, irregularly dissected and bipinnate, having small hairs on both the sides,resembling the leaves of carrot. The number of leaves per plant ranges from 6 to 55.