Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Save your Castor Crop from Semilooper and Leaf-Eating Caterpillar
The castor crop is grown in most parts of the country. This crop is also cultivated in a few states as an intercrop in groundnuts and cotton. In addition to some sucking insect pests, semilooper and leaf-eating caterpillar usually cause damage to the castor crop during the vegetative stage.
Castor semilooper makes a semi-loop while moving on the plant and is therefore known as ""Semilooper."" It has multiple coloured stripes/spots on its body. Small larvae scrape the epidermal layer, while larger caterpillars feed voraciously on leaves from the inner corners, leaving only the midrib and stem behind. It is also known as the voracious feeder caterpillar. On higher population, they can also feed on spike and seeds in castor capsules. Adult of this caterpillar sucks the cell sap from the fruits of citrus. They survive on ber trees in the summer.
A small stage of leaf-eating caterpillars scrapes and feeds the epidermal layer by remaining on the lower surface of the leaves, leaving the upper surface intact where semi-transparent spots appear. In the advanced phases, the larvae are spread and feed the leaves, the top shoots and the capsules.
• Generally, the infestation of semilooper remains lower in the crop sown during the second fortnight of August.
• Install one light trap to attract & kill the moths of the semilooper and leaf-eating caterpillars.
• For Controlling the adult of leaf eating caterpillar, install 5-6 pheromone traps per acre.
• Collect & destroy the castor leaves having first instar larval bunches and egg masses laid by female moths of leaf-eating caterpillar.
• Before spraying of any insecticides, collect (hand picking) and destroy the bigger larvae of castor semilooper and leaf-eating caterpillars.
• Spray Bacillus thuringiensis (bacteria based powder) @ 1-1.5 kg per hectare.
• Spray leaf-eating caterpillar’s Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus (SNPV) @250 LU per hectare.
• Generally, predatory birds feed on the castor semilooper larvae. Do needful action to attract the predatory birds in the field.
• Spray neem seed kernel suspension @ 5% or neem leaf extract @ 10% or neem based formulation @ 10 ml (1% EC) to 40 ml (0.15% EC) per 10 lit of water
• Spray insecticides only when larval population of castor semilooper crosses 4 per plant.
Dr. T. M. Bharpoda,
Ex. Professor of Entomology,
B. A. College of Agriculture, Anand Agricultural University, Anand- 388 110 (Gujarat India)
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