Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.03, Issue 3,4, 1997; Page No.(163-168)

MYCOSIS IN THE TEA PEST ANDRACA BIPUNCTATA WALKER (LEPIDOPTERA NOTODONTIDAE)

A. Panigrahi

Abstract

Mycosis caused by Cordyceps militaris (Fries) Link in the in tea pest Andraca bipunctata Walker has been noted among full grown larvae in natural conditions at the Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling (altitude 2100 m), West Bengal, India during July-August period, 1991. In laboratory conditions, pre-pupae, progressing pupae and pupae moulted from the infected larval population were infested by C. militaris. The severity of infestation could easily be recognised due to appearance of white powdery patches on the body. Larvae collected from infected populations who were initially without any sign of infestation C. militaris attacked and killed a considerable number of them during some developmental stages. The mortality rates of the infected individuals reached upto 84.00%, 19.44%, 25.00% and 33.33% respectively among full grown larvae, pre-pupae, progressing pupae and pupae. Subsequent field observations revealed that at least 46% full grown larvae and 49% during pupal development of A. bipunctata were infested by C. militaris. This pathogen is playing significant role in reducing the natu- ral population of A. bipunctata in the Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.

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