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Natural Enemies in Chickpea IPM


Natural Enemies

Chickpea insect pests have many natural enemies. These can be organized into 3 main groups:


  1. Predators

  2. Parasitoids

  3. Pathogens or diseases


Predators hunt and consume all or part of their prey. They need to eat more than one victim. Predators are usually larger than the prey.


60 species of arthropods were reported to prey on pod borer .

A popular strategy is to install bird perches in the field to attract predatory birds to prey on insect pests


Parasitoids live on or in the body of their host. They need only a single host for sustenance. Parasitoids are of the same size or smaller than their host. More than 75 insect parasitoids attack various life stages of pod borer.
All these parasitoids are members of two orders: Hymenoptera and Diptera.

King crow sitting to prey
on pod borers
Cattle egrets feeding on caterpillars
Mudwasp carrying pod borer caterpillar


Some parasitoids can be mass reared, and released into a pest infested field.
Commercial companies also are marketing parasitoids. For example, egg parasitoids Trichogramma spp which attack eggs of pod borer and other caterpillars.

Diseases and Pathogens

Several disease-causing organisms, including nematodes, fungi, bacteria, and viruses, infect and kill insect pests.

Pod borer larvae are some times infected with nematodes. This nematode coil up inside pod borer larvae and kill them by consuming and disrupting the internal organs.

Nuclear polyhedrosis virus (HNPV) infects pod borer. Ailing larvae become sluggish, feed less, and eventually die.
The infected larvae often found hanging head-down from twigs .
Application of HNPV should be done at egg stage to minimize the damage by pod borer . .

Pod borer caterpillar killed by HNPV
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