June 2000. After the taro beetle project in Pacific Island countries, there is now a wealth of information on the species, taxonomy and management. There are eight Papuana spp. plus Eucopidocaulus tridentipes which are pests of taro and other related aroids in the Pacific. A majority of them occur in PNG (7), but they are also present in Solomon Islands (4), Vanuatu (2), Fiji (1), Kiribati (1) and New Caledonia(1). The are recent introductions in the last three countries.
SPC regional taro beetle project funded by the EU through PRAP based in Solomon Islands and PNG has been conducting research into the biology and ecology and evaluating environmentally safe and sustainable control measures for these pests. Integrated control measures comprising pathogens, chemicals and cultivation practices were evaluated in PNG and Solomon Islands over many years.
A request for information was sent to Pestnet from Samoa. In reply the following were provided:
1. The infofinder under <http://www.ecoport.org/>
2. Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Biological Control: PacificProspects. Inkata Press, Melbourne. 454 pp.
3. For Samoa: the SPC DSAP project has been reorganising the Library at Nu’u. Information is filed under the “Agdex for use in the Pacific Islands” numbers: 171/622 (taro insects and their control); 620 (entomology general).
4. There is a fact sheet on the SPC website, and much more information on the project that is managed by this organisation, for instance:
http://www.spc.int/pps/pest_of_the_month_for_december_2003.htm and http://www.spc.int/lrd/Highlights_Archive/highlights_tarobeetle.htm
See also: Fighting back aganist diseases and pests of taro: http://www.aciar.gov.au/web.nsf/att/ACIA-6RC955/$file/Taro%20protection
%20Partners%20Aut%2006%20PDF%20files-2.pdf (be careful to join this URL)
See also papers in Pest and disease incursions: risks, threats and management in Papua New Guinea (Editor: TV Price:
In Vanuatu, there are reports from VARTC, Santo, of good control of Papuana beetle using the cover crop Glycine wightii. Land is left fallow for one or two years following a taro or other root. Your report is very interesting. In Solomon Islands, a trial with legumes was inconclusive.