Potato tuber moth

Potato tuber moth: Phthorimaea operculella

Symptoms of damage:

  • It is a pest of field and storage
  • Larva tunnels into foliage, stem and tubers
  • Galleries are formed near tuber eyes

Identification of pest:

  • Egg: Laid singly on the ventral surface of foliage and exposed tubers
  • Larva: Yellow coloured caterpillar with dark brown head
  • Pupa: Pupation occurs within a cocoon among the trash, clods of the earth in the field
  • Adult: Small narrow-winged moth, greyish brown forewings, and hind wings are dirty white


  • Select healthy tubers
  • Avoid shallow planting of tubers. Plant the tubers to a depth at 10 – 15 cm deep
  • Install pheromone traps at 15/ha.
  • Collect and destroy all the infested tubers from the field
  • Do not leave the harvested tubers in the field overnight
  • Adopt intercropping with chilies, onion or peas
  • Do earthing up at 60 days after planting to avoid female moths laying eggs on the exposed tubers
  • Cover the upper surface of potato tubers with the branches of Lantana and Eupatorium  to repel the ovipositing moth in the godown
  • Release egg larval parasitoid: Chelonus blackburnii @30,000/ha twice at 40 and 70 day after planting
  • Spray NSKE @5% or quinalphos 25 EC @2ml/lit of water to manage foliar damage
  • Spray Bacillus thuringiensis @1 kg/ha at 10 days interval



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal


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