In the dry lowlands of Ethiopia, a Cerambycidae insect is threatening Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst, the white frankincense-producing tree. This has tremendous consequences on both the country’s economy and the livelihoods of the rural poor in these dryland communities. The product, frankincense (the white oleo-gum resin) has several uses. It burns as incense in temple rituals and a base for perfume and pharmaceuticals industries. Recently published work of WeForest staff (Negussie et al. 2018) showed, B. papyrifera and its distinctive ecosystem are at risk.
The study reveals and quantify the damage of longhorn beetle Idactus spinipennis on the flagship dryland tree, Boswellia papyrifera. The research is the ﬁrst of its kind to quantify the damage caused by I. spinipennis in frankincense woodlands in Ethiopia. It also studied the whole lifecycle of the insect and did the identification which is a prerequisite for protection and future management. The study also shows the economic loss incurred because of the longhorn beetle damage and management needs to reduce ecological and economic losses.
Read it here.