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Nature Of Damage of Armyworm/Swarming caterpillar
The swarming caterpillars cause severe damage to rice plants in nursery beds. They appear suddenly in masses and move like an army from field to field so that seedbeds or the direct seeded fields look as if grazed by cattle
1. This is a sporadic pest but causes very serious damage to young crops when it appears in large number.
2. The caterpillars feed at night and hide during the day. Larvae cut the seedlings in large scale and present an appearance to the field, which is grazed by cattle by its nocturnal feeding.
3. Peduncles of ears are bitten through in maturing crop. They feed gregariously and march from field to field.
4. The damage is severe in July -September. It breeds on a variety of grasses. Yield loss ranges from 10-20%.
Field management of insect pests of rice - A ready reckoner. Technical Bulletin No.46, Directorate of Rice Research, Rajendranagar
Gajendran, G. Prof.&Head (Crop Protection), Trichy