Pest on Sesame, Castor, sunflower, Mustard and Green Manure – Free Online Studymaterial


Til Leaf and Pod Caterpillar, Antigastra catalaunalis  Lepidoptera: Pyralidae

  • A serious and regular pest. Young caterpillars feed on leaves. They also bore into the shoots, flowers, buds and pods. An early attack kills the whole plant, but infestation of the shoots at a later stage hampers further growth and flowering. The maximum infestation occurs in May and again in September-October. 
  • They are-pale yellow, when young, but gradually become green and develop black dots all over the body.
  • The moth is a small insect with a wing span of about 2 cm having dark brown markings on the wing-tips. Pupate in silken cocoons in soil. Sometimes, pupation also takes place in the plant itself. 
  • During January and February, the insect hibernates as a larva inside pods, stubble or the harvested stalks. 

Hawk-moth, Acherontia styx (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)

  • hawk moth, sphinx-moth or death’s head moth
  • The larvae feed voraciously on leaves and defoliate the plants. The full-grown caterpillar, measures about 5 cm in length and 1 cm width, often retracts some of its anterior body segments and looks like a sphinx. 
  • The horn-like projections on the hind end of the abdomen are conspicuous. 

Sesame Gall-fly, Asphondylia sesami (Diptera : Cecidomyiidae)

  • As a result of feeding by maggots, the buds develop into galls and produce no fruits and seeds. When infestation is severe, the crop may be a total failure.
  • The adult is mosquito-like and small. The female lays eggs singly in buds, flowers and developing capsules. The eggs hatch in 2-4 days.
  • The young maggots feed on floral parts and cause malfomation of the buds which fail to develop into seeds. The larvae complete their development in 14-21 days and pupate inside the galls. The moths emerge from the galls in 7-12 days.

Leaf hopper, Orosius albicinctus (Cicadellidae: Hemiptera)

  • Adult is a Light brown coloured hopper 
  • Because of sucking of sap it causes curling of leaf edges and leaves turn red or brown. They finally dry up and shed.
  • Vector of sesamum phyllody


Head Borer, Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Tobacco Caterpillar, Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Semi looper, Thysanoplusia orichalcea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Leafhopper, Amrasca bigutulla (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae); 

Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)


Castor Whitefly, Trialeurodes ricini (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

  • As a result of sucking of sap by the nymphs the leaves show yellow patches initially. Later on, there is a gradual drying of the leaves and ultimately the plants die. 
  • The nymphs are translucent, light yellow in colour and are covered with thick waxen filaments. The adults are pale yellow with white wings covered with waxy powder.

Castor Semilooper, Achaea janata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

  • The caterpillars feed voraciously on castor leaves, starting from the edges inwards and leaving behind only the midribs and the stalks. 
  • The adult of A. janata is a pale reddish brown moth. The wings are decorated with broad zig-zag markings, a large pale area and dark brown patches. 
  • The full-grown larva is dark and is marked with prominent blue-black, yellow and reddish stripes and has a pair of reddish processes and a dorsal hump near the head and end of the body. There is a characteristic white mark on the head.
  • The grown-up larva prepares a loose cocoon of coarse silk and some soil particles, and pupates under the fallen leaves on the soil, usually at the edge of the field. In some cases, pupation also takes place within the folded leaves on the plant itself. 

Castor Capsule-borer, Dichocrocis punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

  • The attack by this borer is recognized from a distance by the webbed capsule heads. The yield is reduced considerably since the capsules and the seeds within are damaged.
  • The full-grown caterpillar is reddish brown, with black blotches all over the body and a pale stripe on the lateral side. 
  • The moths are orange yellow, with black markings on both the wings. 
  • Pupation takes place inside the capsule sometimes in the frass that collects after feeding. 

Castor Hairy Caterpillars

Caterpillars feed on the leaves cause complete defoliation. They are the regular pests on castor. Also infest cotton, mango, pomegranate, pulses etc.,

Euproctis lunata – Larvae dark grey, with a wide white dorsal stripe, and have long hair all over body. Moths are pale yellow. 

Portehsia scintillans – Larva – brown head, yellow stripes at the centre, black hairs.  Moth yellow with black spots on the edges of fore wings

Dasychira mendosa – grayish Larva, with  brown and white hairs. Adult are  yellowish brown  

Pericallia ricini  Black larva with brown head having long brown hairs. Adults are grey coloured  with dark spots in pinkish hind wings

Ergolis merione – green coloured spiny larva with yellow stripe on the dorsal region. Adults are brown butterfly with black wavy lines on the wings.

Castor Slug, Parasa lepida (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae)

  • The young caterpillars feed gregariously by scraping the undersurface of the leaves. As the larvae grow, they get scattered and feed on the entire leaf and cause defoliation. 
  • Larva is flat, fleshy and greenish in colour with white lines on the body. It is covered with spines having red or black tips. 
  • The moth is stout with forewings predominantly green in the middle and brownish at the end. 

Red spider mite, Tetranychus telarius and Oligonychus coffeae  (Acari: Tetranychidae).

Tobacco caterpillar:  Spodoptera litura (Noctuidae : Lepidoptera)


Mustard saw fly, Athalia lugens proxima  (Tenthridinidae: Hymenoptera) 

  • Initially the larva nibbles leaves, later it feeds from the margins towards the midrib. It causes numerous shot holes. They also devour the epidermis of the shoot, resulting in drying up of seedlings. 
  • Larva Greenish black with wrinkled body and has eight pairs of pro-legs. On touch the larva falls to ground and feigns death. Adults are with black head and thorax and orange coloured Abdomen. Wings are translucent, smoky with black veins.


(Sunhemp, Sesbania, Dhaincha)

Stem borer- Azygophleps scalaris,  Cossidae : Lepidoptera

  • Larva bore into the growing points and tunnel down into the stem. Infested branch and stem shows holes with frass. 
  • Larva pale white. LP 50-80 days. Pupates within the stem
  • Adult is a large,  white and brown spotted moth

Stem weevil – Alcidodes bubo   Curculionidae : Coleoptera

  • Reddish brown beetle. White markings on elytra
  • Grub bore into the stem and make gall like swellings

Green semilooper, Pericyma glaucinans  – Noctuidae Lepidoptera

  • Caterpillar rests on the midrib and feeds on leaf lets results in defoliation 
  • Larva is pale green, semilooper with broad yellow lateral stripes. Adult is dark brown with black lines. 

Green semilooper – Semiothisa pervolgata – Geometridae Lepidoptera

  • Defoliation is the symptom. Larva is a pale green looper
  • It pupates in soil.Adult moth is white in colour with three dark lines and spots on the wings

Brown looper,  Hyposidra successaria   – Geometridae : Lepidoptera

  • Defoliation. Adult moth is reddish in colour with faint lines. 
  • The larva is smooth, reddish brown with spots. It pupates among the fallen leaves.

Leaf webber. Grammodes stolida – Noctuidae, Lepidoptera

  • Larva webs and feeds on the leaves cause defoliation. The larva is velvety black with a row of red spots. 
  • Adult moth has fore wings with a large black patch.It pupates in a cocoon in folded leaves or in soil.

Striglina scitaria  Thyrdidae, Lepidoptera

  • Webbing of terminal leaflets. The larva is greenish caterpillar with black head. It pupates in the webbing.
  • Adult is light brown moth with oblique lines on wings. 

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