Swarming caterpillar

Swarming caterpillar: Spodoptera mauritia

Symptom of damage:

  • Larvae cut the seedlings in large scale
  • Cattle grazed appearance is found at severely infested fields
  • They feed gregariously and march from field to field

Identification of insect pest:

  • Egg: eggs are spherical and creamy in colour, which are laid in a group covered over with grey hairs
  • Larva: caterpillars are light green with yellowish white lateral and dorsal stripes in the early stages and later become dark brown or grayish green in colour with a crescent (semi-circular) shaped black spot on the side of each segment
  • Pupa: pupates in an earthen cocoon in soil. Pupa is dark brown and measures 16-17 mm long.
  • Adult: moth is medium sized, stout built dark brown with a conspicuous triangular black spot on the forewings.  Hind wings are brownish white with thin black margins.


  • Drain the water and Spray chlorpyriphos 20 EC 80ml + 20 lit of water for 8 cents
  • Allow ducks into the field to feed on the larvae
  • Flood the nursery to expose the hiding larvae to the surface for birds to pick them up.
  • Kerosenate water during irrigation to suffocate and kill the larvae.
  • Drain water from nursery and spray chlorpyriphos 20 EC 80 ml during late evening



  • TNAU Agritech Portal.


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