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Leucinodes orbonalis Guenee- (Brinjal shoot and fruit-borer)

Brinjal shoot and fruit-borer


  • Class– Insecta
  • Order– Lepidoptera
  • Family– Pyraustidae
  • GenusLeucinodes
  • Speciesorbonalis


It is widely distributed in Myanmar, South Africa, India, Germany, Congo, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Food/ Host plants 

They attack only Brinjal plants.

General appearance 

It is a medium-sized moth of about 20 mm across the spread wings. The wings of moth are white and provided with small hairs along the apical and anal margins. A number of black, pale and light brown spots are found on the fore and hindwings of the moth.

Life history 

The caterpillars hibernate in winter and pupate in early spring. The adult moths appear in March-April. The female moth lays 80-120 creamy white eggs on the leaves, flower of young fruits. The eggs are laid either singly or in batches of 2-4 eggs each. After 3-6 days of incubation period eggs are hatched into caterpillars which start boring near the growing point of tender shoots of the host plants, fruits or into the flower buds. Single caterpillar can destroy 6 fruits. After 9-28 days the caterpillars become full-grown by passing through 5 stages of different instars. The mature caterpillars come out of their feeding tunnel and pupate amongst the fallen leaves forming boat shaped cocoons. The pupal period lasts for 6-17 days after which adult moth emerge out. The whole life cycle is completed in 20-43 days during active season. Five overlapping generations have been recorded in one year. The life span of moth is of 2-5 days only.


The caterpillar is infective stage. It attacks the terminal shoots of young plants as a result the growing points of plants gets killed. The caterpillars cut into the younger fruits under the calyx leaving no visible signs of infestation. Sometimes the whole of the crop is destroyed by the borers.

Prevention and control 

  1. The affected fruits and drooping shoots, containing caterpillars inside, should be collected and destroyed.
  2. The spraying of carbaryl 10.15%, malathion 0.1%, diazinon 0.02%, endosulfan 0.05%, endrin 0.04% can control the pest population in the field.
  3. The biological agencies like Braconid wasps (Bracon chinensis, Shirakia schoenobi) and Ichneumonid wasps (Trathela flavoorbitais, Pristomerus testaceus) parasitize the larvae of this pest.

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