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Yellow stem borer

Yellow stem borer : Scirpophaga incertulas  (Walker)(Lepidoptera : Pyralidae)

Kannada name: Haladi Kanda Koraka

Female: Bright yellowish forewings with a distinct black spot at the centre and with brownish yellow tuft of hair at the tip of abdomen.

Male : Pale whitish yellow and spots on the forewings are not conspicuous.

Larva:  Pale yellow with orange yellow head.

Pupa: Pale to dark brown enclosed in a silken cacoon.

Eggs: White, oval, flat laid in groups (60-100 eggs) covered with brownish hairs


Damage symptoms:

  • Caterpillars bore central shoot of seedlings and tillers leading to death of central shoot called "Dead Heart".
  • Panicle turn whitish, erect with chaffy spikelets and can be easily pulled out, is known as "white ears"


Dead heart symptom at vegetative stage            White ear symptom at reproductive stage      

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