The Mango Leaf Webber, Orthaga exvinacea, belonging to the Family Noctuidae of the Order Lepidoptera, is also known as Mango Shoot Webber or Indian Acacia Moth. This pest is native to India and parts of South-East Asia. The larvae feed on the underside of the leaves of mango trees, creating large webs that can completely cover the foliage.
The caterpillars can also feed on flowers and fruits, reducing crop yield and quality. To effectively manage this pest, it is iessentialto understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Mango Leaf Webber Pest in Mango crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Leaf Webber Pest Management in Mango
Life Cycle of Mango Leaf Webber Pest in Mango Crop
The life cycle of the mango leaf webber pest has four stages. They are egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The egg stage begins when the female adult lays its eggs on the underside of the mango leaves. They hatch within a few days. After hatching, they move around the leaves, feeding on the underside of the mango tree leaves, causing web-like damage to the leaves.
The larvae undergo five instars and feed for about three weeks before pupating. The larvae then enter the pupal stage, forming a cocoon around themselves. The pupae are often found attached to the underside of the mango leaves and remain there for about a week. After a week, the pupae will transform into adults.
The adults are small, white moths that feed on the mango leaves, live for only a few days, and do not feed. They mate and lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves. This cycle will repeat itself for several generations, with the moths laying eggs and the larvae feeding on the leaves, thus causing extensive damage to the mango crop. The entire lifecycle is completed in six weeks.
Occurrence of Mango Leaf Webber Pest in Mango Crop
- Location of Mango Leaf Webber pest: This pest infests mango crops in India, Thailand, Australia, Africa, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States, China, Japan, Brazil, and Indonesia.
- Host range: The mango leaf webber pest infects crops like Mango, oranges, lemons, limes, papayas, guavas, bananas, and figs.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Mango Leaf Webber Pest in Mango Crop
- Warm and humid climate is ideal for developing and reproducing the pest. The high temperatures and ample moisture create a favorable environment for the larvae to feed and develop.
- Chemical pesticides kill beneficial insects, like ladybugs and lacewings, which feed on leaf webber larvae.
- The presence of other insect pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew and other fungal diseases, may provide food for the larvae.
- Over-fertilization can increase the nitrogen and phosphorus content in the soil, creating an ideal environment for the larvae to feed and develop.
- The presence of alternate hosts, like citrus spp., figs, papayas, etc., allows the pest to build up its population quickly.
Identification of Mango Leaf Webber Pest in Mango Crop
- Eggs: The eggs are yellowish-green, about 1.4 mm in size, and laid in clusters of up to 50.
- Larvae: The larva is a small, pale-green caterpillar with a brown head, a prothoracic shield, and short legs.
- Pupa: The pupa is long and brownish and remains attached to the leaves.
- Adults: The adult moth is a small, black, and yellow moth with wavy stripes on the forewings and a wingspan of up to 1.5 cm. Males are smaller than females.
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