Cardamom Hairy caterpillars

Cardamom Hairy caterpillars: Eupterote cardamomi, E. canarica, E. fabia

Symptoms of damage:

  • These appear sporadically in enormous populations at intervals of several years and cause heavy damage to the foliage.
  • Caterpillars are gregarious in habit and they congregate on the trunks of shade trees during daytime and drop down on the cardamom plants during night time.
  • They fed voraciously on leaves and defoliating the whole cardamom plants.
  • Usually, the damage is observed during October-December


Identification of pest:

E. cardamomi

  • Eggs: Dome shaped and lay on the undersurface of the leaves of shade trees.
  • Larva:  Robust, bluish black with pale brown head, white hairs and dorsal conical tuff of hairs.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place in soil
  • Adult: Large moth, pale yellow with wavy lines and a series of spots near the outer margin of wings

E. canaraica

  • Eggs: Pale yellowish in colour and lays on the undersurface of the leaves of shade trees.
  • Larva:  Robust with red head and black ‘V’ shaped vertex border.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place in soil
  • Adult:  Large moth brownish yellow with two diagonal bunds and zig zag lines on wings.

E. fabia

  • Larva:  Robust, dark purplish brown with a black head, grey tipped long hairs and red prologs.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place on dried leaves
  • Adult: Large bright yellow moth with prominent black wavy lines and patches on wings.


  • Hairy caterpillar incidence can be checked by lopping off and burning branches of shade trees in which eggs are laid.
  • Gradual elimination of shade trees favoured for egg laying will reduce the incidence.
  • Caterpillars that congregate at the base of shade trees can be collected and killed.
  • Moths can be attracted to light during the night and by installing light traps, the moths can be collected and killed.
  • Spray monocrotophos or quinalphos 3ml/lit.



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal
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