e course

Pests of Guava :: Major Pests :: Bark Caterpillar


7. Bark caterpillar:  Indarbela tetraonis (Metarbelidae: Lepidoptera)

Distribution and status:Throughout India, Burma, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka potential major pest. 


Host range: Mango, guava, zizyphus, litchi, orange, pomegranate, bauhinialoquat, mulberry, moringa, rose, guava and eugenia.


Damage symptoms : Young trees succumb to the attack. Caterpillars bore into the trunk or junction of branches make zig zag galleries Presence of gallery made out of silk and frass is the key symptom. They remain hidden in the tunnel during day time, come out at night and feed on the bark. Under severe infestation, flow of sap is hindered, plant growth arrested and fruit formation is drastically reduced.


Bionomics : Adults emerge in summer and lays 15-25 eggs in clusters under loose bark of the trees. Eggs hatch in 8-10 days. Larvae makes webs and feeds making zig zag galleries on the wood filled with frass and excreta and later bores inside the wood. Larval period is 9 -11 months and then pupates inside the stem. Pupal stage is 3-4 months.



    • Kill the caterpillars by inserting an iron spike into the tunnels.
    • Injecting ethylene glycol and kerosene oil in the ratio of 1:3 into the tunnel by means of a syringe and then seal the opening of the tunnel with mud.
    • Dip a small piece of cotton in any of the fumigants, like chloroform or petrol or kerosene, introduce into the tunnel and seal the opening with clay or mud.