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Costa Rica is shielded to avoid a plague of Central American flying lobster in its crops

OIRSA issued this week the third regional phytosanitary alert regarding the presence of Central American lobster in significant quantities in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala.


Central American flying lobster.

The State Phytosanitary Service, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, SFE is alert to prevent a possible sleeve of flying lobster from a neighboring country from entering and causing damage to crops. The specific points where the flying lobster predominates are being monitored, and in view of the regional emergency, issued by the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), the control points have been increased.

This week, OIRSA issued the third alert to agricultural producers and to the Ministries and Secretariats of Agriculture and Livestock of Mexico and Central America regarding the presence of Central American flying lobster sleeves in the State of Yucatán, Mexico, and the department of Petén, Guatemala. The organization recommended giving maximum attention to the development that the plague may have in the region and assured that it is already being controlled by the authorities of the two countries.

The SFE has clearly identified the areas, Chorotega and Central Pacific, in which the insect has appeared historically and that due to weather conditions could favor proliferation, so they maintain strict surveillance, with introspections aimed at detecting and controlling any focus that could appear on the Central American flying lobster, with the support of private companies and OIRSA.

In Costa Rica there is a commission to address the problem, made up of representatives of the SFE, DIECA-LAICA, INTA, agricultural extension of the MAG of the Central Pacific and Chorotega, as well as the Ministerial Office. Within the committee, the work plan and specific actions aimed at detecting and controlling any outbreak that may appear in time are analyzed.

This insect is endemic to the Mesoamerican zone, that is, it has had a presence from Mexico to Panama. As part of its characteristics, it should be borne in mind that adults have a dorsal white stripe along their entire body, they have dark triangular spots under the eyes and black lines on the upper edge of the hind legs.

At this time the insect finished its position and is not in a gregarious state, the populations tend to increase between August and September, without transcending. The gregarious state is when individuals group together and form agglomerations of thousands or millions, which is known as manga and is when it becomes difficult to control and becomes a huge danger to the agricultural production of the country. For more than 11 years, starting in 2014, the gregariousness of the lobster has been broken and it is until 2016 that flying and later gregarious insects are found, but thanks to the surveillance actions and the good management carried out, excellent control has been achieved. .

Factors of excess rain or extreme drought can shorten the life cycle of the insect, contributing to the increase in population and the appearance of sleeves. The SFE is vigilant and has intervened since individuals or small groups are detected to stop their rate of feeding and reproduction.

The SFE reiterates that it is important to report if there are suspicions of an increase in the population of this species to the SFE Regional Unit or the nearest MAG Agricultural Extension Agency or contact the service through the authorized channels.

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