Red Gram Spiny pod borer

Red Gram Spiny pod borer: Etiella zinckenella

Symptoms of damage:

  • Dropping of flowers and young pods
  • Older pods marked with a brown spot where a larvae has entered
  • The larva feeds inside green pods and then on pod surface, webbing together 2-4 pods.

Identification of the pest:

  • Eggs: Eggs are laid singly (or) in groups preferably at the junction of the calyx and pod or on the pod surface. A female lays 47-178 eggs, which hatch in 5-6 days.
  • Larva: The larva bores within the green pods and feeds on seeds.  When fully grown the larva drops to the ground and forms a cocoon about 2.5 cm below ground or under dry leaves greenish initially, turns pink before pupation. It has 5 black spots on the prothorax.
  • Pupa: Pupal duration lasts for 9-20 days depending on the climate. The moths pair 24-30 hour after emergence.
  • Adult: Brownish grey moth. Prothorax is orange in colour. Forewing has a white stripe along the anterior margin.


  • Conserve natural enemies like Tetrastichus sp., Bracon hebetor, Phanerotoma sp. and P. hendecasisella.
  • ETL 10% affected parts
  • Deep summer ploughing in 2-3 years to eliminate quiescent pupa.
  • Early sowing, short duration varieties.
  • Avoid closer plant spacing.
  • Grow tall sorghum as comparison crop to serve as biological bird perches
  • Collect and destroy larvae and adults to the extent possible
  • Install pheromone traps at a distance of 50 m @ 5 traps/ha for each insect pest.
  • Install Bird perches @ 50/ha.
  • Setting of light traps (1 light trap/5 acre) to kill moth population.
  • Control is achieved by releasing of Trichogramma chlionis at weekly intervals @1.5 lakh/ha/ week for four times.
  • Conserve green lacewing, predatory stink bugs, spider, ants
  • Application of NPV 250 LE /ha with teepol 0.1% and Jaggery 0.5% thrice at 10 – 15 days interval commencing from the flowering stage. (Note: Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be applied when the larvae are in early stage).
  • Bt @ 600 g, neem oil/ pungum oil 80 EC @ 2ml/lit
  • Spray NSKE 5% twice followed by triazophos 0.05%.
  • Apply any one of insecticides at 25 kg/ha quinalphos 4D, carbaryl 5D
  • Spray insecticide Quinalphos 25 EC @ 1000 ml/ha.




  • TNAU Agritech Portal
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