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Internode borer in sugarcane

 Internode Borer:

Causal Organism: Chilo saccharifagus Indicus

  • Damages the crop soon after internode formation and its activity continues till harvest.
  • Lodging, high dosage of nitrogen, waterlogged condition and presence of water around shoots favour build up of pest.
  • Yield loss and juice quality deterioration occurs when the infestation is severe. 

 Internode Borer Symptom

internode borer


Caterpillars bore at the nodal region and enter the stem and tunnel up-wards in characteristicspiral fashion. Entrance hole is usually plugged with excreta.

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Internode borer of sugarcane

Internode Borer (Chilo sacchariphagus indicus) of sugarcane is of major concern in peninsular India and also cause considerable damage in subtropical India. As the name indicates this borer rarely cross the node, its damage mostly restricted in the internode.  In contrast to the stalk borer, internode borer usually feeds the cane horizontally/ circular fashion and the damage often lead to the breakage of cane.  Eggs are laid in cluster on both upper and lower surface of the leaf. Freshly laid eggs are oval to flat and shiny waxy white in colour which later turn grey. The young larva feeds on the leaf spindle or on leaf sheath by scrapping the tissues and characteristic white streaks appear on leaf lamina when it opens. Subsequently, the larvae bore into the tender cane top. It also produces dead-heart during early stage of the crop growth but there is no offensive smell when pulled out. In stalk the larva tunnels upwards in a characteristic spiral fashion. It feeds on the inner tissues and the frass is pushed out to the exterior, the wet frass is easily observed on the borer affected cane. The distinguishing features of the larvae are presence of violet tubercles in four longitudinal stripes dorsally and complete crochets in prolegs.