Journal of
Entomology and Nematology

  • Abbreviation: J. Entomol. Nematol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9855
  • DOI: 10.5897/JEN
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 135

Full Length Research Paper

Ecology and field biology of the sorghum chafer, Pachnoda interrupta (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in Ethiopia

Asmare Dejen1* and Yeshitila Merene2
1Wollo University, College of Agriculture, P.O.Box 1145, Dessie, Ethiopia. 2Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute, P.O.Box 08 Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 June 2013
  •  Published: 31 August 2013



Studies on sorghum chafer (Pachnoda interrupta) were conducted under field conditions for two consecutive years (2005 to 2006) to determine the biology and ecology of the beetle. On average, oviposition rate by a single female was 1.28 eggs per day over a period of 11 days. In general, eggs hatched within 4 to 22 days with a mean of 15.7 days, after which larval and pupal stages lasted a mean of 59.8 and 18.3 days, respectively. The highest rate of oviposition was recorded during the first four days after mating and none after the eleventh day. A total of 156 and 236 sites or samples were investigated from nine habitats (under trees in a forest, under trees in a crop field, in crop fields, border of crop field, grazing land, riverside, manure heaps, termite mound and cattle dung in homesteads) to identify breeding and hibernating areas of the beetles. Fertile humus and moist light soil under the shade of various tree species in the forest and along the riverside were found to be the potential breeding and hibernating areas of the beetles. Metal boards were used and arranged to east wards, where the sources of flight were expected. During a June 2001 outbreak, a total of 1770 beetles with equal sex proportion were caught within 15 days from 36 passive metal board traps, with the beetles’ infestation being first recorded near the Afar border. Monitoring of flight direction at the time of the outbreak using these metal board traps showed no significant difference in beetle catches among different directions (north, south, east and west). In conclusion the beetles could breed in areas where the previous outbreak did not occur; importantly the beetle could hibernate in fertile and moist soils near river bed of all areas of outbreak.


Key words: Sorghum chafer, Pachnoda interrupta, life cycle, flight direction.