Shoot, panicle and capsule borer

Shoot, panicle and capsule borer: Dichocrocis (Conogethes) punctiferalis 


  • Early stage of the larva bores the unopened leaf buds and feeds on the leaf tissue.
  • They also bore the panicles leading to drying up of the portion from the affected spot
  • Immature capsules and feed on the young seeds inside rendering the capsules empty.
  • Late stage larvae bore the pseudostem and feed the central core of the stem
  • Resulting in drying of the terminal leaf and thus produce characteristic ‘dead heart’ symptom.
  • Oozing out of frass material at the point of tunnelling is the indication for the presence of larva inside the plant parts.
  • The incidence of this pest is noticed throughout the year but they occur in enormous number in four periods, December-January, March-April, May-June and September-October and their abundance synchronizes with the panicle production, fruit formation and new tiller production.

Identification of pest:

  • Egg: is pink, oval, flat and lays singly or in group on the tender part of the plant
  • Larva: is long, pale greenish with a pinkish was dorsal, head and prothoracic shield brown in colour and body covered with minute hairs arising onwards.
  • Pupa: Pupation takes place in lose silken cocoon in larval tunnel.
  • Adult: is a medium sized moth; the wings are pale yellowish with black spots on the wings.


  • During day time adult moths rest on the lower surface of the cardamom. They may be collected with insect net and killed.
  • The practice of removing the tillers showing ‘dead heart’ symptoms should be carried with due care.
  • Tillers may be removed if the attack is fresh as indicated by extrusion of frass
  • The infestation by early stages of larva of this pest in emerging panicle, immature capsule and leaf bud can be controlled effectively with insecticide application.
  • Once the late larvae bore and go deep inside the pseudostem, the chemical spray even in its higher dose becomes ineffective.


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