Chalcidomyia Atricornis Scientific Name

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Korea Japan

Psiloscaria flammulinae Family: Micropezidae Calobata sp. C. indica

Mimegralla coeruleifrons Macq. Family: Chloropidae Chalcidomyia atricornis Mall. Formosina flavipes Mall. Merochlorops flavipes Paracamarota sp. Family: Celyphidae Celyphus sp. Family: Syrphidae Eumerus albifrons Wlk. E. pulcherrimus Bru. Order: Lepidoptera Family: Gracillaridae Acrocercops irradians Meyr. Family: Tineidae Opogona sacchari (Bojer) Setomorpha rutella Zell. Family: Oecophoridae Blastobasis byrsodepta Meyr. Family: Pyralidae Conogethes punctiferalis Guen. Ephestia sp. E. kuehniella Zell. Ostrinia furnacalis Guen. Pyralis manihotalis Guen. Plodia interpunctella Hbn. Family: Hesperidae Udaspes folus Cram. Family: Noctuidae Heliothis sp. Spodoptera litura (F.) Unidentified

Rhizome Japan

Rhizome India

Shoot, Rhizome India

Rhizome India

Shoot, Rhizome India

Shoot, Rhizome India

Rhizome India

Rhizome India

Rhizome India

Rhizome India

Rhizome India

Leaf India

Rhizome Brazil

Dry rhizome India

Rhizome Sierra Leone

Shoot India, Sri Lanka

Dry rhizome India

Dry rhizome Egypt

Rhizome Australia, China, Solomon Islands

Dry rhizome India

Dry rhizome Egypt

Leaf India

Shoot Australia

Leaf Malaysia

Leaf, Shoot Australia, Hawaii

Major Insect Pests

The shoot borer and rhizome scale are major insect pests of ginger. Shoot Borer (Conogethes punctiferalis GuenJ

The shoot borer is ginger's most serious pest, especially in India, but little information is available on its distribution in various areas in the country. In Kerala (India), 23.6 to 25.0 percent of pseudostems were damaged by the pest at Kottayam and Idukki districts (Nybe, 2001). The shoot borer is also widely prevalent in Asia, Africa, America, and Australia, but authentic records of the pest on ginger are limited. The shoot borer is known by many other common names generally indicative of the crop and plant part infested. It has been suggested that the shoot borer is a combination of more than one

Figure 10.1 Ginger pseudostem infested by shoot borer.

species, especially in Australia and South East Asia (Honda, 1986a, 1986b; Honda et al., 1986; Robinson et al., 1994; Boo, 1998).

The larvae of shoot borer bore into pseudostems and feed on the growing shoot of ginger plants, resulting in yellowing and drying of infested pseudostems. The presence of bore holes on the pseudostem, through which frass is extruded, and the withered central shoot are characteristic symptoms of pest infestation (see Figure 10.1). Studies on yield loss caused by the pest in Kerala indicated that when 50 percent of the pseudostems in a plant are affected, there was a significant reduction of 38 g of yield per plant (Koya et al., 1986). Yield losses of 25 percent have also been reported when 23 to 24 percent of a plant's pseudostems are infested and the pest was reported to cause 40 percent yield loss in Kottayam and Idukki districts in Kerala (Nybe, 2001).

Life History

The adults are medium-sized moths with a wingspan of 18 to 24 mm; the wings and body are pale straw yellow with minute black spots (see Figure 10.2). There are five larval instars; fully grown larvae are light brown with sparse hairs and measure 16 to 26 mm in length (see Figure 10.3). The dimensions of adults and larvae may vary depending on the host plant in which they are raised. Jacob (1981) reported the morphometrics of various stages when reared on turmeric. Thyagaraj et al. (2001) suggested a method for determining the shoot borer's sex based on the size and morphology of male and female pupae.

Figure 10.2 Shoot borer, adult.
Figure 10.3 Shoot borer, larva.

No information is available on the life history of the shoot borer on ginger. However, its life history has been studied on other Zingiberaeceous crops such as turmeric and cardamom. Such studies on turmeric conducted at Kasaragod (Kerala) under laboratory conditions (temperature range: 30 to 33°C; relative humidity range: 60 to 90 percent) indicated that the preoviposition and egg periods lasted for 4 to 7 and 3 to 4 days, respectively. The five larval instars lasted for 3 to 4, 5, 3 to 7, 3 to 8, and 7 to 14 days, respectively. The prepupal and pupal periods lasted for 3 to 4 and 9 to 10 days, respectively. Adult females laid 30 to 60 eggs during its lifespan, and 6 to 7 generations were completed during a crop season in the field. Variations were also observed in the life cycle (up to 30 days during August to October and up to 38 days during November to December) during various seasons (Jacob, 1981).

At Thadiyankudisai (Tamil Nadu, India), the duration of shoot borer's life history on cardamom varied considerably during summer (temperature range: 16 to 29°C; relative humidity range: 65 to 85 percent) and winter (temperature range: 16 to 25°C; relative humidity range: 49 to 92 percent). The preoviposition, egg, and larval periods lasted for 2 to 3, 6 to 7, and 21 to 32 days, respectively, during summer, and 17 to 18, 6 to 8, and 40 to 62 days, respectively, during winter. The prepupal and pupal periods lasted for 2 to 3 and 10 to 12 days, respectively, during summer, and 4 to 7 and 17 to 27 days, respectively, during winter (Varadarasan, 1991).

Seasonal Incidence

No information is available on the seasonal population dynamics of the shoot borer on ginger. However, the damage was reported to be higher in the field during August, September, and October in Kottayam and Idukki districts in Kerala (Nybe, 2001).

Host Plants

The shoot borer is highly polyphagous and has been recorded on 65 host plants belonging to 30 families (see Table 10.2). Many of the hosts of the shoot borer are economically important plants, and the pest infests various parts of these plants, such as buds, flowers, shoots, and fruits

Table 10.2 List of host plants of Conogethes punctiferalis

Common Name

Scientific Name



Custard apple

Annona sp.




A. cherimola Mill.




Alcea rosea L.




Gossypium sp.


Australia, India

Silk cotton tree

Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn


India, Indonesia


Theobroma cacao L.


India, Sri Lanka


Averrhoa carambola L.



Citrus sp.


Australia, China, Japan


C. nobilis Lour.


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