Personal Information

Specialization Area:

Agricultural Entomologist

Dr. George Ong'amo CV



Ong'amo, GO, LeGall P, Ndemah R, LeRu BP.  2014.  Diversity and host range of lepidopteran stemborer species in Cameroon. African Entomology . (22):625-635.
Khadioli, N, Tonnang ZEH, Muchugu E, Ong’amo G, Achia T, Kipchirchir I, Kroschel J, LeRu B.  2014.  Effect of temperature of the phenology of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidopteran); simulation and visualization of the potential future distribution of C. partellus in Africa. Bulletin of Entomological Research. (104):823-832.
LeRu, B, Capdevielle-Dulac C, Toussaint EFA, Conlong D, Van-den-Berg J, Pallangyo B, Ong’amo G, Chipabika G, Molo R, Overholt WA, Cuda JP, Kergoat GJ.  2014.  Molecular phylogenetics and systematics of Acrapex stem borers (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Apameini). . Invertebrate Systematics.
Khadioli, N, Tonnang ZEH, Ong’amo G, Kroschel J, LeRu B.  2014.  Effect of temperature on the life history parameters of noctuid lepidopteran stem borers, Busseola fusca (Fuller) and Sesamia calamistis Hampson. Annals of Applied Biology. (165):373-386.


Félix, A-E, Calatayud P-A, LeRu B, Capdevielle-Dulac C, Ong’amo G, Silvain J-F, Frérot B.  2013.  To be or not to be a species: use of reproductive isolation experiments and genetic analysis to clarify the taxonomic status of two Busseola (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) species in Kenya. Annales de la Société entomologique de France . 49(3):345–354. Abstract

Phylogenetic analysis combined with chemical ecology can contribute to the delimitation of closely related insect species, particularly in Lepidoptera. In this study, the taxonomic status of a species in the genus Busseola (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was discussed using morphological data, cross-mating experiments, sex pheromone chemistry, field-trapping, and molecular classification. The results of the chemical ecology experiments corroborated those from the phylogeny studies. It was concluded that several reproductive isolation components, namely host plants, geography, pheromone emission time, pheromone blend, and post-zygotic isolation factors, led to the separation of Busseola n. sp. from its closely related species B. segeta. Molecular data showed a strong difference between these two species, regardless of the marker used. The new species named Busseola nairobica was morphologically described and a hypothesis about the evolutionary history of the studied species was put forward.

Ong’amo, GO, LeRu BP, Calatayud P-A, Silvain J-F.  2013.  Composition of stem borer communities in selected vegetation mosaics in Kenya.. Arthropod-Plant Interactions. 7(3):267-275. Abstract

Busseola fusca (Fuller), Sesamia calamistis Hampson, Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) and Chilo orichalcociliellus (Strand) are important stem borer pests of maize and sorghum in East Africa. Persistence of these pests in crop fields is blamed on the influx of diaspore populations from the neighbouring natural habitats. In addition to pest species, natural habitats support numerous non-economic stem borer species, some not known to science. However, due to growing human populations and accompanying global change, some of the natural habitats are undergoing rapid changes, a process that may result in the evolution of ‘‘new’’ pest species. In this study, we investigated stem borer species diversity in four different vegetation mosaics in Kenya, with an aim of establishing the differences in species composition and distributions in both wild and cultivated habitats. We identified 33 stem borer species belonging to 14 different genera in the four families; Noctuidae, Crambidae, Pyralidae and Tortricidae from 37 plant species. In addition to the above stem borer pest species, we found three more species, Busseola segeta Bowden, Pirateolea piscator Fletcher and Eldana saccharina Walker, in the cultivated fields. Together, stem borer pests varied in distribution among vegetation mosaics, suggesting differences in ecological requirement. Despite the variations in distribution patterns, stem borer pests co-existed with non-economic species in the natural habitats, communities that are facing threats due to ongo ing habitat changes. This paper discusses the likely impacts of habitat changes on both pest and non-economic species.


Ong'amo, G, LeRu BP, Campagne P, Branca A, Calatayud P-A, Capdevielle-Dulac C, Silvain J-F.  2012.  Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Busseola segeta Bowden (Lepidoptera; Noctuidae): A case study of host use diversification in Guineo-Congolian rainforest relic area, Kenya. Science. 3:1156-1170. Abstract

Habitat modification and fragmentation are considered as some of the factors that drive organism distribution and host use diversification. Indigenous African stem borer pests are thought to have diversified their host ranges to include maize [Zea mays L.] and sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] in response to their increased availability through extensive cultivation. However, management efforts have been geared towards reducing pest populations in the cultivated fields with few attempts to understand possible evolution of "new" pest species. Recovery and growing persistence of Busseola segeta Bowden on maize (Zea mays L.) in Kakamega called for studies on the role of wild host plants on the invasion of crops by wild borer species. A two-year survey was carried out in a small agricultural landscape along the edge of Kakamega forest (Kenya) to assess host range and population genetic structure of B. segeta. The larvae of B. segeta were found on nine different plant species with the majority occurring on maize and sorghum. Of forty cytochrome b haplotypes identified, twenty-three occurred in both wild and cultivated habitats. The moths appear to fly long distances across the habitats with genetic analyses revealing weak differentiation between hosts in different habitats (FST = 0.016; p = 0.015). However, there was strong evidence of variation in genetic composition between growing seasons in the wild habitat (FST = 0.060; p < 0.001) with emergence or disappearance of haplotypes between habitats. Busseola segeta is an example of a phytophagous insect that utilizes plants with a human induced distribution range, maize, but does not show evidence of host race formation or reduction of gene flow among populations using different hosts. However, B. segeta is capable of becoming an important pest in the area and the current low densities may be attributed to the general low infestation levels and presence of a wide range of alternative hosts in the area.


Mithöfer, K, Ong'amo G, LeRu BP.  2009.  Development of species distribution models for lepidopteran stem borers and associated parasitoids in Kenya, 6 – 8th October. Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development. , University of Hamburg, Germany


Ong'amo, G, LeRu BP, Calatayud P-A, Capdevielle-Dulac C, Silvain J-F.  2008.  Microsatellite analyses reveal fine scale genetic structure of Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), 6 – 12 July. XXIII International Congress of Entomology. , International convention Centre, Durban, South Africa
Otieno, NA, LeRu BP, Ong'amo G, Moyal P, Dupas S, Calatayud P-A, Silvain J-F.  2008.  Diversity and abundance of wild host plants of lepidopteran stem borers in two agro-ecological zones of Kenya. International journal of Biodiversity Science and Management. 4:1-12.
Ong'amo, G, LeRu BP, Moyal P, Calatayud P-A, LeGall P, Ogol CKPO, Kokwaro ED, Claire, Silvain J-F.  2008.  Hostplant diversity of Sesamia calamistis: cytochrome b gene sequences reveal local genetic differentiation. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 128:154-161.


Otieno, NA, LeRu BP, Ong'amo G, Dupas S, Calatayud P-A, Makobe M, Ochora J, Silvain J-F.  2006.  Diversity and abundance of wild host plants of lepidopteran stem borers in two different agro-ecological zones of Kenya. Annales de la Société entomologique de France. 42(3-4):371-380.
LeRu, BP, Ong'amo G, Moyal P, Muchungu E, Ngala L, Musyoka B, Abdullahi Z, Matama KT, Lada VY, Pallangyo B, Omwega C, Schulthess F, Calatayud P-A, Silvain J-F.  2006.  Major ecological characteristics of East African noctuid stem borers. Annales de la Société entomologique de France. 42(3-4):353-361.
LeRu, BP, Ong'amo G, Moyal P, Ngala L, Musyoka B, Abdullah Z, Cugala D, Defabachew B, Hailei TA, Kauma TM, Lada VY, Negassi B, Ravolonandrianina KJ, Sidumo A, Omwega C, Schulthess F, Calatayud P-A, Silvain J-F.  2006.  Diversity of lepidopteran stem borers in eastern Africa revisited. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 96:555-563.
Ong'amo, G, LeRu BP, Dupas S, Moyal P, Muchugu E, Calatayud P-A, Silvain J-F.  2006.  The role of wild host plants in the abundance of lepidopteran stem borers along altitudinal gradient in Kenya. Annales de la Société entomologique de France. 42(3-4):363-370.
Ong'amo, G, LeRu BP, Dupas S, Moyal P, Calatyud P-A, Silvain J-F.  2006.  Distribution, pest status and agroclimatic preferences of lepidopteran stemborers of maize and sorghum in Kenya. Annales de la Société entomologique de France. 42(2):171-177.

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