Laboratory studies were conducted at the University of Port Harcourt to evaluate the response of dried yam chips as a host for Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae). The test was conducted using four improved yam varieties namely; Adaka, Ame, Nwokpoko and Obiaturugo. Ten grams of each substrate of the dried yam chips were placed in plastic containers of 300 ml and each container was infested with three pairs of one to three days old P. truncatus. Data on insect developmental periods in the various dried chips, as well as the susceptibility of the substrates, weight gain on the chips and the weight of frass produced were recorded. The beetles exhibited differential levels of preference for the yam chips from different varieties. They developed better on Obiaturugo and Nwokpoko than on Adaka and Ame. The mean developmental period of P. truncatus on yam dried chips were 96.33 and 65.33 days for Obiaturugo and Nwokpoko, respectively but failed to develop on Adaka and Ame. There was significant difference (P<0.05) in weight between the amount of frass produced on Obiaturugo and that produced on the other substrates. Also, there was significant difference (P<0.05) in weight gained between Nwokpoko and the other substrates. The study has shown that of the dried chips from the four varieties of yam, only Nwokpoko and Obiaturugo were found to be possible hosts of P. truncatus and thus need protection against the pest during storage.
Key words: Prostephanus truncatus, infestation, yam, chips.
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