Lev Bely, 29.08.2012 21:14
Cultivating pomegranate in India is a quite profitable business. In recent years this has been rapidly developing and being intensified with considerable irrigation entailed increase in pests.
One of the most harmful is a gossamer-winged Deudorix isocrates that's also called “fruit borer”. This “borer” causes massive damage and pomegranate crop losses on Indian fruit farms. What's worse, farmers suffer not only money loss, but fruit quality too.
Adult butterflies lay eggs in pomegranate flowers and fruits, their larvae grow inside fruits and eat them from the inside out. Caterpillars leave black excreta which can be noticed on injured pomegranates.
Fruit injury revealed at the age of 30—50 days, and within this very interval D. isocrates imagos lay eggs, usually preferring to oviposit in the calyx of a fruit.
4—5th instar caterpillars do the most harm to fruits, the latter are often being damaged as much as they can't be further utilized in any way.
Practically, this pest is really hard to struggle against since farmers are obligated to comply with the requirements for exporting fruits as to size, colour, blemishes, pesticide residue level.
However, there are a few techniques helping to reduce pest damage.
Information courtesy of D. N. Kambrekar, Asst prof, S. B. Kalaghatagi, Prof, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Bijapur, UAS, Dharwad.
The Hindu, http://www.thehindu.com
Photo: Deudorix isocrates butterfly, Surajit Koley, http://surajitkoley.blogspot.com
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