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Pomegranate bark eating caterpillar



Scientific Name: Indarbela quadrinotata walker
Family: Metarbedelidae
Order: Lepidoptera

It is a Polyphagous pest reported on Citrus, mango, guava, jaman, loquat, mulberry, pomegranate, ber, litchi and aonla. Indarbela tetranis and Indarbela quadrinotata have been recorded boring the bark of pomegranate tree and feeding inside. Indarbela tetranis is comparatively more common and more harmful to pomegranate trees. Older trees and the trees in orchards that are not well maintained are more prone to these pests. Peak activity period is September-October



Moths are white with pairs of small black dots on thorax, numerous small black spots and streaks on fore wings and few black spots on posterior edges of hind wings. Caterpillars are pinkish white with brown spots and are about 40mm long. Pupae are chestnut-brown in colour and 22 to 28 mm long. Eggs are oval in shape and reddish in colour.

Life cycle:

Eggs are laid under loose bark or in cracks and crevices in clusters of 15-25 from April to June. They hatch in 8-11 days.Larval duration of 9-10 months. Pupal period is 3 to 4 weeks. TLC lasts 4-5 months in south India and more than a year in north India. One generation per year.

Nature of damage:

Larvae make holes /Zig-Zag tunneling on the stems and branches. The newly hatched larvae feed on the barks which cover up with the dark ribbon like silken web made of wood chips and excreta pellets

Damage symptoms:

Holes on the trunk, Wood dust and faecal matter hanging in the form of a web around the affected portion. Severe damage can result in the death of attacked stem. Blackish larva can be observed underneath the fresh webbing. 


Andhra Pradesh:

  1.  Orchard should be kept clean and overcrowding of trees should be avoided
  2.  Inject larva holes with quinalphos @ 0.01% or fenvalerate @ 0.05%
  3.  Spray with carbaryl @ 0.04% or dichlorovos @ 0.08%.


Remove the webbing and inject kerosene oil into the holes during September-October and again in January-February.

National Horticulture Board and Spices database:

  1. The webs around the affected portion should be cleaned.
  2. Cotton swab soaked in petrol or kerosene should be inserted in the holes and sealed with mud.
  3. Alternate sprays with Carbaryl @ 2.5 g/litre of water or Quinalphos @ 2 ml/litre of water or Methomyl @ 3.5 g /litre of water is effective in controlling the pest.


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