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Life stages of Rice case worm

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Egg: Eggs are light yellow, disc like, smooth and irregular in shape. They are laid on the underside of the leaves floating on the water.

Larva: They hatch into green caterpillars with orange brownish head. Each caterpillar lives inside a tubular case and hang down the leaves. The tubular cases are open at one end. The inside of the case is lined with silk to hold a thin film of water, which is essential for respiration and preventing desiccation of the larvae. The cases are replaced with each moult. It moves up and down with the protruded legs and scrapes the green matter. It drops in the water when disturbed. It is semi aquatic and can breathe by filamental gills at the sides. Full-grown caterpillars measure upto 15 mm length.

Pupa: It pupates inside the leaf case. Fresh pupae are milky white, which gradually turn to light yellow.

Adult: The adult is a small delicate moth having white wings speckled with pale brown wavy markings. Females are larger than males. Egg laying takes place in the night.

File Courtesy: 
ZARS, Mandya
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