| || || Prasad, Ravikash|
| || || Potential of the problematic weed abrus precatorius to control invasive coptotermes gestroi termite in Fiji|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Coptotermes -- Fiji, Termites -- Control -- Fiji
Call No.: Pac QL 529 .3 .R4 P73 2013
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The Asian Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes gestroi, is an agricultural pest worldwide and since late 2009 has emerged as a very serious and costly invasive species in Fiji. The principle aim of this study was to find out if the plant Abrus precatorius, an often invasive and problematic weed in many parts of the world, could potentially help to control C. gestroi in Fiji. The objectives were to evaluate if A. precatorius extracts could meet the three principle criteria of a bait toxicant, which is to be; 1) toxic, 2) slow acting, and 3) non-repellent to C. gestroi termite respectively. No-choice (toxicity) tests were conducted to meet the first two objectives and a choice (repellency) test to meet the third objective. A. precatorius was found to be toxic to C. gestroi with 100% mortality within 4 days caused by 10% w/v methanol extracts of seed. The extracts were also found to be slow acting (ELT90 of 1.5-12.0 days) to C. gestroi at 1% w/v. Methanol extracts of A. precatorius did not repel C. gestroi at 1% w/v concentration but actually acted as an attractant to the termites. This attractancy of A. precatorius extracts, in addition to its desired toxicity and slow acting nature, is unusual and strongly supports the potential of A. precatorius extracts to be further tested as a bait toxicant against C. gestroi in the field. This study also provides a suggested way in which an entrenched problematic weed could be put to innovative use. The project therefore provides significant information towards the management of a serious invasive pest in a scientifically sound and economically efficient way - a direction much needed in small island developing countries, and worldwide.