Leucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae), originating from Central America, was introduced into Cameroon in the 1960s as a shade tree and for soil improvement. The tree is strongly infested by Heteropsylla cubana (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), also native to Central America. The purpose of this study is to record the presence of the psyllid in Cameroon, and assess its infestation pattern in order to provide the necessary data for an integrated pest management strategy. Data were collected at two sites, Koutaba (Western Highlands) and Yaounde (Southern Plateau), respectively, with three plots (K1, K2, K3) at the former site and one (Y) at the latter. The relative abundance of psyllids varied significantly between the four plots (K = 97.6, d.f. = 3, P < 0.0001). The Yaounde plot with a mean of 4013.71 individuals/100 leaves was more infested than any of those in Koutaba (with 1888.10, 314.60 and 2546.92 individuals/100 leaves, respectively). At both sites, the spatial distribution of psyllid populations globally followed an aggregated pattern with the dispersion index k ranging from 0.082 to 5.32. The infestation rate observed was influenced by plot age rather than climatic factors. In fact, the Yaounde plot was younger than those in Koutaba.
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Vol. 20 • No. 2