Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an important cereal crop cultivated all over the world and consumed by nearly 35% of the world population. It harbours nearly two dozen of insects; among them only half a dozen of insect pests, like aphids, termites, army worm, pink stem borer, pod borer and Ghujhia weevil, attain the major pest status. They damage wheat crop from sowing to maturity stag
Army worm – Mythimna separata Noctuidae; Lepidoptera
- A sporadic pest of wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, sorghum, cumbu and other graminaceaous crops.
- Whole leaves, including the mid-rib are consumed and the field looks as if grazed by cattle.
- It has gained prominence as a pest of wheat only after the introduction of Mexican varieties. The larvae feed voraciously and migrate from one field to another
- The adult moths are pale brown. Larva is very active, dull white and later turn green. Pupation usually takes place in the soil.
Shoot Fly – Atherigona bituberculata Muscidae ; Diptera
Shoot fly has emerged as an important and regular pest of wheat crop since the adoption of semi-dwarf varieties. The fly is about 3 mm in body length and dark gray in colour. Their prevalence has been reported from Rajsthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Panjab and Haryana
Pink borer– Sesamia inferens Noctuidae; Lepidoptera
Its wingspan is about 28 mm. Hindwings with veins 3 and 4 from arise from the cell. Antennae of male ciliated and simple in female. Body ochreous. Forewings with a red-brown suffusion along median nervure and veins 2 to 5. A sub-marginal dark line present. Cilia paler. Hindwings are whitish.
The caterpillars mainly bore into rice stems or the base of the panicle. After infection, the stem becomes wilted causing deadheart. Panicle attack leads to panicle to be cut leading to state called whitehead. Symptoms are mostly similar to other stem borers and hence closer look required to control the attack
Leaf roller – Psara phaeopteralis Pyraustidae; Lepidoptera
Wheat Aphid – Macrosiphum miscanthi Aphididae; Hemiptera
Aphids can be problematic pests in wheat. There are several species of aphids in wheat fields. These include the English grain aphid and the bird-cherry oat aphid.
Thrips – Anaphothrips sudanensis Thripidae; Thysanoptera
Thrips (order Thysanoptera) are minute (mostly 1 mm long or less), slender insects with fringed wings and unique asymmetrical mouthparts. Different thrips species feed mostly on plants by puncturing and sucking up the contents, although a few are predators.
Leaf hopper -Empoascanara maculifrons Cicadellidae;Hemiptera
Nematode: Anguina tritici
- Ear cockles – A hard round galls containing nematodes, replace the seeds in the ear.