Pest Affecting Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels – Free Online Studymaterial


Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae) with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables. The family takes its alternative name (Cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing”) from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.

Diamond back moth Plutella xylostella (Plutellidae: Lepidoptera)

  • It is a major pest of all cruciferous vegetable crops and cabbage and cauliflower are major host crops. 
  • Larva feeds on foliage and causes serious damage by defoliation. 
  • Scraping causes whitish patches with small windows. 
  • It make holes on them and soiling them with excreta.
  • Larva is a pale-green caterpillar, brownish at the anterior end. 
  • It pupates in a thin transparent cocoon on the foliage.
  • Adult is a small greyish moth, which when at rest shows a series of three yellowish diamond, shaped markings dorsally on the wings. 
  • Eggs are yellowish-white with greenish tinge and are laid singly on the leaves. 
  • Egg, larval and pupal periods last 3-6, 14-21 and 7-11 days respectively. 

Leaf webber Crocidolomia binotalis (Pyraustidae: Lepidoptera)

  • This is a serious pest of cabbage and other crucifers. 
  • It is commonly called as cabbage cluster-caterpillars.
  • Young larvae feed gregariously on leaf surface; later on they web together leaves and feed on them.
  • Full-grown caterpillar is green in colour and is about 2 cm in length. 
  • It pupates in a cocoon within webbed up leaves and flowers or just below ground surface. 

Cabbage borer Hellula undalis (Pyraustidae: Lepidoptera)

  • It attacks all cole crops. 
  • Adult is a pale yellowish-brown moth having grey wavy lines on forewings. Caterpillar first mines leaves and leaves become white papery skeletons filled with excreta. Later on it feeds on leaves and shoots sheltered within silken passages and finally bores into cabbage. 
  • Full-grown larva is long and greyish-yellow with seven purplish-brown longitudinal stripes. 
  • Pupates in a cocoon among leaves in the ground or in larval burrows. 

Mustard sawfly Athalia lugens proxima (Tenthredinidae: Hymenoptera) 

  • It is a cold weather pest. Throughout winter cruciferous vegetables suffer greatly by larvae of this sawfly. Larvae destroy leaves. 
  • Larva possesses 8-10 pairs of prolegs without crochets. 
  • Pupation is in soil in clusters for 10-20 days. 
  • Adults are with dark head, and thorax, orange coloured abdomen and translucent smoky wings with black veins. 
  • Females have a strong saw-like ovipositor-hence the name sawfly. 
  • Overwintering and aestivation take place in pupal stage in soil. 

Cabbage green semilooper Trichoplusia ni (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera)

  • It is a polyphagous pest and infests tomato and other cruciferous vegetables. Adults are stout moths. 
  • Head and thorax ferruginous-grey in colour, while abdomen is ochreous-white with basal tufts of hairs. 
  • Caterpillars start scrapping and feeding on the leaves initially and later defoliate entire plant leaving midribs and main veins.
  • More damage is evidenced in nurseries than in main field. Pupation takes place in thin transparent cocoons on ventral surface of leaves. 

Painted bug, Bagrada hilaris (Pentatomidae: Hemiptera)

  • This is a common pest of cucurbitaceous crops, suck cell sap from tender plant parts and cause yellowing of leaves.
  •  When young plants are attacked, they wilt and die; when grown up plants are infested they suffer much loss both in quality and quantity. 
  • Nymphs are patterned with a mixture of black, white and orange colour.  
  • Adults are also black and orange coloured shield bugs. 

Radish flea beetle Phyllotreta cruciferae (Alticidae: Coleoptera)

  • Flea beetles are common and widely distributed polyphagous pests on radish, turnip etc. 
  • Adult beetles are elongate-oval in shape and metallic bluish-green in colour. 
  • Grubs feed on roots and do not cause much damage. 
  • Adults feed on foliage of cabbage, cauliflower, radish etc. and make small bites or shot holes.
  • Chaetocnema basalis are tiny beetles, ovate in shape and shiny black in colour. Adults bite holes on the leaves of carrot, turnip, knolkhol and radish.

Cut worms Agrotis ipsilon (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera)

Cabbage butterflies Pieris brassicae P. rapae (Pieridae: Lepidoptera)

Cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae (Aphididae: Hemiptera)

Mustard Aphid Lipaphis erysimi (Aphididae: Hemiptera)

Green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Aphididae: Hemiptera)

Leaf miner, Phytomyza horticola (Agromyzidae: Diptera)

Thrips Caliothrips dorsalis and Thrips tabaci (Thripidae: Thysanoptera)

Mite, Tetranychus neocaledonicus (Tetranychidae: Acarina) 


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