ICAR-Directorate of Cashew Research, Puttur - 574 202, Karnataka, India
+91 8251-230902

Shoot Tip Caterpillars

Anarsia epotias M. and Hypotima (Chelaria) haligramma M. (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).

  • Young caterpillars of A. epotias  are pale yellowish green with black head and turn pinkish-brown later. The fore wings of adults are dark grey.
  • The hind wings are grey, and the base is thinly scaled. While, larvae of H.  haligramma are tiny, yellowish to greenish brown larvae.
  • The fore wings of adult H. haligramma are yellowish grey, whitish-speckled. The hind wings are grey, thinly scaled and sub-hyaline anteriorly.
  • The egg, larval and pupal period of H. haligramma last for 3-4 days, 12-16 days and 7-10 days respectively, and the life cycle is completed within 25-29 days. Pupation takes place inside the bore holes on the shoots or panicles.
  • The egg period of A. epotias lasts for 3-4 days. Pupation takes place in larval tunnels of the attacked shoot, in crevices of the branches, twigs, at the cut end of branches. Pupal period is 7-10 days and the total life cycle is completed within 27-29 days.


H. haligramma – Mango (Mangifera indica); A. epotias – sapota (Manilkara  zapota)

 The incidence is seen during flushing period of cashew.

A. epotias

  • During active growth period, caterpillars at the early stage web together the tender leaves and feed within.
  • Later on, they bore in to the terminal shoots and tunnel inside up to 2-3 cm. A gummy substance oozes out from the infected tips and finally the attacked shoots dry up.

H. haligramma

  • Larvae damage shoot tips by folding the fresh leaves and feed within and can tunnel up to 2 cm.
  • Exudation of gummy web like substances mixed with fecal pellets from the injury site can be noticed.
  • Later, the terminal shoots turn black and perish, which results in production of auxiliary shoots.                
  • Spraying may not be required, since, natural enemies including parasitoids take care of this pest.
  • Four larval parasitoids, viz., Pristomerus (Ichneumonidae), Apanteles sp. (Braconidae), Elasmus sp. (Elasmidae) and Sympiesis sp., (Eulophidae) have been recorded on shoot tip caterpillar, causing parasitism of up to 25 per cent.
  • But, under severe incidence, spraying of either lambda-cyhalothrin (0.6 ml/lit) or profenophos (1.5 ml/lit) will manage this pest effectively.