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Pink stem borer (PSB)

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Pink stem borer (PSB), Sesamia inferens (Walker)

Distribution: This species has been reported from all over India but is more common in areas where rice is followed by wheat crop and also in upland rice regions.
Description: Adult are whitish to dark straw coloured with white hind wings. Sexual dimorphism is conspicuous. The male moth is slightly smaller than the female and has pectinate antenna. The female has filiform antennae. Larva is purplish pink dorsally and white in colour ventrally with an orange red head capsule.
Biology: Female moth lays more than 400 eggs in batches of up to 161 eggs. They are laid between leaf sheath and stem in rows of 2-3 or on soil surface near base of the plant. They are creamy white to dark and naked. Egg period varies with season, 4-9 days in summer and 9-25 days in winter. The caterpillars do not tend to congregate but disperse early. Larval duration is for 3-4 weeks with 5-7 moults. Pupation usually takes place inside the larval tunnel within the stem and pupal period varies from 5-12 days in summer and 12-36 days in winter.

Host plants: Maize and sugarcane are the cultivated hosts apart from 33 other species being reported as alternate hosts.
File Courtesy: 
DRR Technical Bulletin No. 59/2011, Rice stem borers in India: species composition and distribution
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