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Spodoptera exigua in Chickpea

Spodoptera exigua  in Chickpea

Cosmopolitan and Polyphagous pest attacking rice, tobacco, tomato, maize, citrus, castor, groundnut, legumes and many other vegetables.It belongs to family Noctuidae, order Lepidoptera and commonly called as laddi hulu.


  Spodoptera exigua


Egg masses appear golden brown. Eggs are round, white and covered with small hairs. Larvae are pale greenish with dark  markings. Larvae are gregarious in the early stages. Pupa is brown and 1.9 cm long. Forewings are brown in color with wavy white markings. Hind wing white in  color with a brown patch along the margin.

Life cycle:

Moth lay eggs on the underside of leaves in masses of 100 to 300. Incubation period is 4-5 days, larval period lasts for 14-21 days, pupal period is 12-14 days. Pupation takes place in the soil. Longevity of adults is 9-10 days. Total life cycle is 35-50 days, 6-8 generations per year.

Nature of damage:  

  • Neonate larvae/ newly hatched larvae are gregarious and migratory skeletonisers.
  • The larvae feed on the tender leaves.
  • They scrape out the green matter in the leaf leaving the epidermis alone.
  • The second and third instar larvae feed by making small holes, late instars feed on entire lamina, petiole, even the twigs on the terminal shoots of plants.
  • Later, the larvae spread in the field causing defoliation.
  • The larvae also feed on the developing pods.
  • During fruiting stage, the larva scrapes the pods and feed on it.

Damage symptoms:

  • Leaf Skeletonisation.
  • Large irregular holes on leaves, defoliation in severe cases.
  • Deseeded pods in the field.

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