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Pests of Sugarcane :: Major Pests :: Top Borer


3. Top borer: Scirpophaga excerptalis (Pyralidae: Lepidoptera)
Distribution and status: India, Pakistan, China, Formosa, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma and Taiwan
Host range: Millets and other grasses
Damage symptoms
Dead heart in grown up canes, which cannot be easily pulled; dead heart reddish brown in colour; parallel row of shot holes in the emerging leaves and red tunnels in the midribs of leaves; bunchy  top appearance due to the growth of side shoots. Larva bores into the midrib of unfolded leaves  and mine their way to the base.


Larva: Smooth, white or cream coloured with a red coloured mid-dorsal line and yellow head. Adult: White coloured moth (with a buff coloured anal tuft in the abdominal tip of female). 


    • Management

        • Grow resistant varieties: Co 724, CoJ 67, Co 1158, Co 1111
        • Collect and destroy the egg masses
        • Release bio control agents like ichneumonid parasitoid:Isotima javensis@ 100 pairs/ ha (prepupal parasitoid); egg parasitoids: Telenomus beneficiens, Tetrastichus schoenobi, Trichogramma  chilonis; larval parasitoids: Goniozus indicus, Chelonus sp.,; pupal parasitoid:  Tetrastichus ayyari
        • SprayChlorantraniprole18.5 SC 375 ml in 1000 L water per ha