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Pyrilla in sugarcane


Causal Organism: Pyrilla purpusilla Walker 

  • Pyrilla is the most destructive foliage-sucking pest of sugarcane.
  • Heavy rainfall followed by 75-80% humidity, intermittent drought periods, high temperature (26-300c) and wind movement favours rapid build-up of the pest.
  • Cane yield loss is about 28% while 1.6% unit loss in sugar content.


  • Adults and the nymps suck leaf sap from the under surface of the lower leaves.
  • When the infestation is heavy, leaves turn yellowish white and wither away.
  • Due to continuous desapping by large number of hoppers top leaves in the affected canes dry up and lateral buds germinate. The hoppers exude a sweet sticky fluid known as honeydew, which promotes quick and luxuriant growth of the fungus, capanodium species and as a result the leaves are completely covered by the sooty mould.
















                                                     Fig: Pyrilla        

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