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1. The hatched larvae move downward and wander about on the plant for 1 or 2 hours. They may hang down by a sliver thread and get to other plants with the help of the wind.
2. They can also swim over the water and reach other tillers. They enter the leaf sheath and feed upon the green tissues of the stem for 2-3 days.
3. Then they bore into the stem near the node. Deposition of silica in the epidermal layer of the stem and leaf sheath acts as an obstacle to the first instar larvae to chew up a hole.
4. Generally only one caterpillar is seen inside a tiller. It may come out and attack fresh tiller. The full-grown caterpillar measures about 20 mm, white or yellowish white in colour with a conspicuous prothoracic shield.