DISEASE IN THE TEA PEST ANDRACA BIPUNCTATA WALKER (LEPIDOPTERA : NOTODONTIDAE)A. Panigrahi
During last part of July, 1992 while studying the ecology of the tea pest the 'bunch caterpillars' Andraca Inpunctata Walker complete in activeness of fifth instar larvae of the tea pest was noted in the Happy Valley Tea Estate at Darjeeling (altitude 2100 m), West Bengal, India. In laboratory, the active larvae (collected from the same tea bushes where inactive larvae were observed) stopped feeding and became incapable to move within 10- 16 hours after collection. During the next 22-36 hours the larvae lost their body flexibility which was followed by hardening of body surface. On and from third day (after 55 hours of collection) they started to be dropped down from tea leaves. After that, body musculature of the larvae became very soft within the next 10-14 hours. During this stage, the larvae were seen to release liquid faecal matter. After next 19 hours 73.94% larvae showed swellings (1-2 in each larva) on the body especially on the areas close to digestive system. In most cases (86.16%), the swellings damaged within the next 9-16 hours. Hundred per cent diseased larvae died after 94-101 hours of collection. Only 13.5% larvae recovered after 58-66 hours of initial stage of the disease.
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