AGBESSENOU Ayaovi, Togo
Project title: Establishing the taxonomic identity of sweet potato weevil Cylas species-complex (Coleoptera: Brentidae) in four West African Countries.
Abstract: The sweet potato, is one of the most important food crops for human consumption in the world. The Sweet potato weevil of the genus Cylas is considered to be the most destructive pest of the crop. Adults of all species may be conveniently sexed by the shape of the distal antennal segment, which is filiform (thread-like, cylindrical) in males and club-like in females. Apart from separation of species into sexes, taxonomic separation into species has always come with its attendant problems. While certain species names may be predominant in some geographical regions (C. puncticollis and C. brunneus are confined to Africa, but often occur simultaneously and might both emerge from one infested storage root C. formicarius also occurs in other parts of the world). However, the liberal trade links between regions and continents do allow the free flow of materials across frontiers, with the possibility of different species finding their way in regions far removed from their origins. In such cases, non specialists may place intercepted species as those found in the regions. It is in the regard that the establishment of the proper identification of this all-important tuber pest needs to be ascertained, so as to aid in directing the right management strategies at the identified species.
Training location: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels
Ayaovi AGBESSENOU with his tutor at the RBINS, Dr W. Dekoninck.
Ayaovi AGBESSENOU sorting out his specimens at the RBINS.