Galerucella birmanica (Singhara beetle)
- Class– Insecta
- Order– Coleoptera
- Family– Chrysomelidae
- Genus– Galerucella
- Species– birmanica
It is distributed throughout the singhara growing belt of several states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi etc. It is also found in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mayanmar.
Food plant :
Singhara is the only host plant of this pest.
General appearance :
The adult beetle is blackish brown in colour and about 6-8 mm in length.
Life history :
The female after mating, lays eggs in clusters of 6-10 eggs each on the upper surface of singhara leaves. The maximum number of eggs laid by the beetle is about 254 in her whole life time. After 6-9 days of incubation period eggs are hatched into young grubs which are light brown in colour and attain full grown stage by passing through 4 moults after an interval of 3-5 days each. The full grown grub is dark brownish-grey in colour of about 8 mm in length. After 16-20 days the grub changes into pupa among singhara and other aquatic leaves. The pupa is oval in shape, orange red in colour with dark brown patches. The pupal stage exists for 5-7 days after which the adult beetle emerges out. The active period of adult phase starts from the beginning of July when they start laying eggs on seedling. If these seedlings are cut, the pest may disperse to different area. There may be 12-17 overlapping generations in one year.
Most of the singhara growing areas are affected by the pest. Beetles and grubs both are destructive stages which feed on leaves of singhara plant floating on water surface. The infested leaves are riddled with holes and rendered useless thus checking the growth of plant and formation of flowers and fruits. Heavily infested crop looks blackish in the field. Severe infestation has been noticed from July to January but chiefly during August and September.
Prevention and control :
(1) The adults and egg masses should be collected from leaves and destroyed in the beginning stages.
(2) The dusting of carbaryl 5% on crop @ 15-20 pound per acre is effective. After an interval of about 10 days 2 or 3 dusting operations should be performed.
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