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Swarming caterpillar ( Nel Padaipuzhu )


1. Common name- Swarming caterpillar.

 2. Scientific name - Spodoptera mauritia .

3. Vernacular name - Nel Padaipuzhu ( நெல் படைப்புழு).

Symptom of damage of Swarming caterpillar

• Larvae cut the seedlings in large scale  .

• Severe infestation - cattle grazing appearance to the field.

• They feed gregariously and march from field to field.

Identification of insect pest of Swarming caterpillar

• Egg - Laid in masses on leaves and covered with grey hairs.

 • Larva - Caterpillar is cylindrical dark to pale green with lateral lines along the body.

• Pupa - Pupates in an earthen cocoon in soil.

• Adult - Moth is medium sized stoutly build.

• Dark brown with a conspicuous triangular spot on fore wings.

Management of Swarming caterpillar:

• Kerosenate the water while irrigation – suffocation .

• Allow ducks into the field Nursery .

• Drain the water.

 • Spray chlorpyriphos 20 EC 80ml or endosulfan 35 EC 80ml + 20 lit of water for 8 cents


Management of Paddy stemborer ( Thandu thulaippan)

• Resistant varieties: Ratna, Jaya, TKM 6.

• Avoid close planting and continuous water stagnation.

 • Pull out and destroy the affected tillers.

 • Set up light traps to attract and kill the moths.

 • Harvest the crop upto the ground level and disturb the stubbles .

• Release the egg parasitoid, Trichogramma japonicum on twice @ 5 cc/ha/ (followed by monocrotophos 36 SL spray thrice @ 1000 ml/ha on 58, 65 and 72 DAT).

 • Apply Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki and neem seed kernel extract Spray any one of the following insecticides o Monocrotophos 36 SL 1000 ml/ha o Endosulfan 35 EC 1000 ml/ha o Quinalphos 25 EC 1000 ml/ha o Phosphamidon 40 SL 600 ml/ha Profenophos 50 EC 1000 ml/ha


Paddy Stemborer ( Thandu thulaippan)


1. Common name - Paddy stemborer .

2. Scientific name - Scirpophaga incertulas.

3. Vernacular name - Thandu thulaippan (தண்டுத்துளைப்பான்).

 Symptom of damage of Paddy stemborer:

• Presence of brown coloured egg mass near leaf tip.

• Caterpillar bore into central shoot of paddy seedling and tiller.

• Causes drying of the central shoot known as “dead heart” .

• Grown up plant whole panicle becomes dried “white ear”.

Identification of insect pest of Paddy stemborer:

• Egg - Laid in a mass and covered with buff coloured hairs.

• Larva - Pale yellow with dark brown head.

• Pupa - White silken cocoon.

• Adult • Female moth - bright yellowish brown fore wings with a black spot possess a tuft of yellow hairs.

• Male moth - Smaller with pale yellow forewings without black spot


Rice case worm ( Nel kootu puzhu )


1. Common name - Rice case worm.

2. Scientific name - Nymphula depunctalis.

  3. Vernacular name - Nel kootu puzhu.

  Symptom of damage of Rice case worm:

• Caterpillars feed on green tissues of the leaves and leave become whitish papery.

 • Tubular cases around the tillers by cutting the apical portion of leaves.

 • Floating of tubular cases on the water .

Identification of insect pest of Rice case worm:

• Larva - Pale translucent green with orange head.

• It has filamentous gills on the sides of the body.

 • Adult: Moth is delicate white moth with pale brown wavy markings.

Management of Rice case worm:

• Drain the water.

• Dislodge the cases – running rope.

• Nursery - Mix 100 ml kerosene in standing water and spray endosulfan 35 EC 30 ml / 8 cents.

• Spray endosulfan 35 EC 1000 ml / ha or monocrotophos 36 WSC 500 ml / ha.


Green leafhopper ( Pachai thathu poochi)


1. Common name - Green leafhopper .

2. Scientific name - Nephotettix virescens .

3. Vernacular name - Pachai thathu poochi ( பச்சை தத்துப்பூச்சி ).

Symptom of damage of Green leafhopper:

1.Yellowing of leaves from tip to downwards.

2. Vector for the diseases viz., Rice tungro virus, rice yellow & transitory yellowing.

3. Adults insects are green with black spot and black patch on wings.

Management of Green leafhopper:

• Use resistant varieties like IR 50, CR 1009, Co 46.

• Apply neem cake @ 12.5 kg/20 cent nursery as basal dose.

 • The vegetation on the bunds should also be sprayed with the insecticides.

 • set up light traps.


Snails and Slugs


Snails and slugs are Invertebrata and belong to Phylum: Mollusca, Class: Gasteropoda.

Snails differ from slugs in having a spirally coiled shell over their body which in slugs is reduced and completely hidden under the mantle.

1. Common garden snails: Helix, Macrochlamys indica.

2. Green house snail: Opeas gracilis.

3. Giant African snail: Achantina fulica.

They do a lot of damage to vegetables, garden plants, the damage being more serious in the seedling stage.

Giant African snails even damage plantation crops like arecanut, rubber buds and coffee.

Common Indian slugs: Limax sp., Laevicaulis alte, Arion sp.

Management: - Cultural: They can be handpicked and killed.

- Chemical: Metaldehyde (5%), copper sulphate solution (1%) and insecticides (aresenates, persistent organochlorines, etc.)


Rice Gundhi bug / Earhead bug.

 Scientific name: Leptocorisa acuta, Alydidae, Hemiptera.
Symptom of attack: Leaves turn yellow and later rusted from tip downwards.
Appearance of numerous brownish spots at the feeding sites / shrivelling of grains.
In the case of heavy infestation, the whole earhead may become devoid of mature grains. Its presence in the field is made out by its strong smell.

Nature of damage: Both adults and nymphs do the damage. The nymphs start feeding 3 to 4 hours after hatching. They feed on the leaf sap near the tip/ on milky sap in developing spikelets at milky stage.

Sucking of the milky sap causes ill-filled/ partial filled and chaffy grains. Serious infestation can reduce the yield by 50%.

The straw gives off-flavour that is unattractive to cattle.

Management: Chemical control: Spraying of Endosulphon 35 EC or Quinolphos 1.5% Dust @ 25 kg/ha, or Quinolphos 25 EC @ 1.5 liter in 500 liter water / ha is found to be highly effective in controlling the insect populations.


Rice Swarming Caterpillar


Scientific name: Spodoptera mauritia, Noctuidae, Lepidoptera.

Symptom of attack: Nurseries found completely eaten away by the caterpillars’ overnight.

Nature of damage: Caterpillars march in large numbers in the evening hours and feed on the leaves of paddy seedlings till the morning and hide during daytime.

They feed gregariously and after feeding the plants in one field march onto the next field.

Under severe infestation crop gives the appearance of grazed plants. Attacked plants are reduced to stumps.

Nurseries situated in ill-drained marshy areas attacked are earlier than dry ground. Damage is severe during July to September.

Management of Rice swarming caterpillar: Spraying of Super D (Chlorphyriphos 50% + Cypermethryn 5%) or Nural D 55 EC @ 1.25 liter in 500 liter water for 1 ha give positive results.


Management of Gall midge (Sanrhakeet)

1. Ploughing under the ratoon of previous crops can reduce infestation.

2. Control of grassy weeds and wild rice (alternate hosts) from surrounding areas can reduce Gall midge incidence.

3. Avoiding staggered planting (complete planting in an area within 3 weeks) to reduce infestation.

4. Chemical control: Carbofuran 3G @ 30 kg/ha is found to be highly effective in controlling the insect populations.


Rice Gall midge (Sanrhakeet)


Scientific name: Orseolia oryzae, Cecidomyiidae, Diptera. Local name: Sanrhakeet. Symptom of attack: The central shoot instead of producing leaf produces a long tubular structure. When the gall elongates as an external symptom of damage, the insect will be in pupal stage and ready for emergence. . Nature of damage: The maggot bores into the growing point of the tiller and causes abnormal growth of the leaf sheath, which becomes whitish tubular and ends bluntly. It may be pale green, pink or purplish. Further growth of tiller is arrested. This is called onion shoot or silver shoot. The feeding by the maggot and the larval secretion, which contains an active substance called cecidogen, is responsible for cell proliferation of the meristematic cells and gall formation. It is a pest in irrigated and wet season crop. Tillers in 35 to 53 days old crops are preferred.
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