Lymantria ampla WLk (Lymantriidae) and Metanastria hyrtaca Cram (Lasiocampidae), Euproctis fraterna Moore and E. scintillans Walker (Lymantridae)
There are plenty of hairy caterpillars feed on cashew leaves as well as flowers.
The larvae of M. hyrtaca stay in the trunk region during day time and defoliate the trees during night. Other hairy caterpillars which occur sporadically include Diacrisia obliqua Walker (Arctiidae) and Estigmene lactinea Cramer (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae).
Most of the hairy caterpillars are active, the body is suffused with black, red, white or yellow hairs arising from warts set in a ring around the middle of each segment. They pupate inside a silken cocoon and are dark reddish- brown.
Damage by hairy caterpillars: Lymantria ampla, Metanastria hyrtaca, Euproctis fraterna and unidentifed sp.
Symptoms of damage:
- Severe defoliation by hyrtaca results with only bare branches.
- Early instars are gregarious feeders of tender foliage and full grown caterpillars feed voraciously on mature leaves as well.
- During day time they congregate in large numbers on the ground under dry leaves near the base of the tree, in crevices of bark or lower parts of well shaded branches and feed voraciously on foliage during night.
- These hairy caterpillars scrape the green tissues when young and start defoliating the leaves and inflorescence branches and also feed on the shell of the nut in the tender green stage and tender apples