Damage by insect pests to the Djingarey Ber Mosque in Timbuktu: detection and control

  • Lara Maistrello | lara.maistrello@unimore.it Dip. Scienze Agrarie e degli Alimenti, Univ. di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • Josephine D’Ilario Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Gautier Bicheron Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Christophe Bouleau Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva, Switzerland.


The Djingarey Ber Mosque in Timbuktu (Mali) is one of the most significant earthen construction in West Africa. Originally constructed in 1327, it was included in 1988 on the World Heritage UNESCO List for its unique architecture and historical importance. During its restoration, recently undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the wooden parts of the roof and architraves showed clear signs of threatening insect presence. In order to identify the pests responsible of the damage, evaluate its extent and suggest a proper control strategy, a detailed survey was performed inside the Mosque complex and in its immediate surroundings. The entomological inspection, performed in the dry-cold season, allowed to detect signs of insect damage in most of the wooden elements, even in the recently replaced beams, but also in walls, pillars and the precious decorated panels. Damages in the wood elements could be attributed to Amitermes evuncifer Silvestri (Termitidae), Bostrychoplites zycheli Marseuli (Bostrichidae) and Lyctus africanus Lesne (Lyctidae), which were collected alive on site. Injures in the walls and decorated panels appeared to be performed by hymenopterans such as “plasterer bees” (Colletidae) and Sphecidae. From the evaluation of the type and extent of damage in relation to the architecture and materials used in its construction and decoration, the most serious pest and the worse threat for the mosque is represented by termites. Control and preventive measures, in the view of a sustainable, long-lasting integrated management are suggested.



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Bostrichidae, earthen construction, entomological survey, termites, xylophagous pests.
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How to Cite
Maistrello, L., D’Ilario, J., Bicheron, G., & Bouleau, C. (2011). Damage by insect pests to the Djingarey Ber Mosque in Timbuktu: detection and control. Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research, 43(2), 99-106. https://doi.org/10.4081/jear.2011.99

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