Cardamom thrips [Sciothrips cardamomi Ramk

The cardamom thrips (Fig. 8.1) is the most destructive and persistent pest of cardamom. Ayyar (1935) reported its infestation on cardamom at Anamalai Hills of Tamil Nadu, and described the pest as Taeniothrips cardamomi, which was later renamed by Bhatti (1969) as Sciothrips cardamomi. Nature of damage and biology of the insect were described by Cheriyan and Kylasm (1941), Nair (1975), Anonymous (1985a), Kumaresan et al. (1988) and Krishnamurthy et al. (1989).

The larvae and adults lacerate tissues from leaf sheaths, unopened leaf spindle, panicles, flowers, tender capsules and suck the exuding sap resulting in qualitative and quantitative loss. Infestation on panicles results in its stunted growth (Fig. 8.2a), while infestation on flowers leads to shedding of flowers. Laceration of tissues from tender capsules leads to the formation of small scabs, which develop as prominent ugly growths when the capsules mature. These scabs generally appear as longitudinal lines over the ridges of the capsules or as patches over it (Fig. 8.2b). Such capsules appear malformed, shriveled with slits on the outer skin. They lack the usual aroma and fetch

Table 8.1 Insect pests of cardamom

Common name

Scientific name

Family

Order

Insect pests

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