Lepidopteran stem borers are important pests of maize and sorghum in East and southern Africa. Except for Chilo partellus (Swinhoe), the other important lepidopteran pests of maize and sorghum, Busseola fusca (Fuller), and Sesamia calamistis Hampson, are indigenous to the African continent. As some stem borers became pest, some species remained in the natural habitats where they still infest non-cereal host plants. However, understanding the diversity of stem borer species that remained in uncultivated habitats and their role in pest dynamics received little attention in research. With the current changes in the natural habitats, some of the species in these habitats may switch to become pests. In addition to host switch, some of the unknown species currently restricted to natural habitats may disappear altogether. Several studies have been undertaken in Tanzania to assess stem borer species diversity. However, there are challenges in comparing diversity values among different zones due to differences in sampling protocols. In this study, a standardised sampling protocol was used and the paper presents a catalogue of stem borer species and their respective hosts in five different vegetation mosaics in Tanzania.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1