Hill Campus, GBPUA&T

Ranichauri, Tehri Garhwal (Uttarakhand) - 249 199

History of whitegrub project in Uttarakhand:

Ranichauri centre is situated in the hill region 1800 m above sea level where 27 species of whitegrub have been regularly recorded in light trap. Holotrichia longipennis Blanch. is the key prominent species in the Garhwal region of Uttaranchal. Work on the management of this species is being done at this station through ecofriendly chemicals and biopesticides like entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes. The extent of damage due to whitegrub and cutworm in almost all the kharif crops and off season vegetables is quite severe in valley, mid hills and high hills under ranifed conditions of Uttaranchal. The extent of loss in yields due to whitegrubs ranged from 50 to 90% in various kharif crops namely; millets, upland rice, soybean and off season vegetables grown under rainfed conditions in both the Kumaon and Garhwal regions.

Scientists associated with the Project:

Name of the Scientist Photo Contact Date of Joining in the Project
Dr. (Mrs) Laxmit Rawat
Principal Investigator, AINP on Soil Arthropod Pest
College of Forestry & Hill Agriculture, G. B. P. U.A. & T.Hill Campus, Ranichauri Tehri Garhwal - 249199 (Uttarakhand)

E-mail: laxmirawatpachology@gmail.com, akku_joshi@rediffmail.com

Mobile: 08476004135

01376- 252459 (O)

Important species of whitegrubs and cutworms in Uttarakhand:

Whitegeubs: Holotrichia longipennis Blanch. (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae)

Cutworms: Agrotis flammatra, Agrotis segetum and Amathes c. nigrum, Agrotis ipsilon, Drasterius spp

Holotrichia longipennis Blanch:

This is one of the dominant species of the hills of Uttarakhand, causing severe damage to various crops like barnyard millet, finger millet, upland paddy, maize, soybean, potato and chilli. The beetles emerge in late May and June at dusk (19.10 to 19.40 hrs) after a heavy monsoon rain. Just after beetle emergence, mating takes place on the host trees; time taken for mating ranges from 9 to 16 minutes. Mating is also observed on the trunk of pine trees, where the females cling to the split bark. If mating takes place on non-preferred host trees, the beetles after mating shift to the preferred host trees; e.g. walnut, hishalu (Rubus ellipticus), Chestnut, apple and plum.

The mated females return to the soil and lay from 10 to 40 eggs at the depth of 6 to 15 cm. The preoviposition period varies from 2 to 5 days. Freshly laid eggs are opaque, pearly white in colour and elliptical in shape. The length and width of freshly laid eggs is 2.9 mm and 1.8 mm, respectively. Later, eggs imbibe water, increase in size, turn spherical in shape and dark brownish in colour. The incubation period varies from 10 to 17 days (avg. 11.15 days).

The newly hatched grubs are creamy white in colour. The first instar grubs measure about 9.1 to 10 mm in length and 2.5 to 3.0 mm in width. The length of second and third instar grubs on an average is 18.50 mm and 38.12 mm, respectively, while the width is 6.3 and 7.8 mm, respectively. The total larval period ranges from, 214 to 262 days. The grubs over winter in third instar stage.

Pupation starts in the month of March. The length and width of pupa range from 22 to 24 mm and 10 to 13 mm, respectively. The pupal period ranges from 16 to 25 days.

The newly emerged adults are grayish white in colour, which later turn brown. The beetle size varies from 19 to 24mm in length and 10 to 14 mm in width. The adult longevity ranges from 23 to 32 days after emergence. Only one generation occurs in a year.


Major crops infested by whitegrubs in Uttarakand:

Cabbage, potato, soybean, cauliflower, tomato, pea etc.

Salient research achievements:

Developed the management technology and disseminated to the farmers. Most of the farmers have adopted the technology thereby they have reduce the damage caused by the soil arthropods particularly whitegrub and cutworm which are major pest in this area.

[A]. Whitegrub:

1. Holotrichia longipennis Blanch. (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae) was found to be predominant species followed by Brahmina coriaceae and Anomala lineatopennis.

2. The emergence of predominant species, H. longipennis Blanch started during second fortnight (forth week) of May after a light rain.

3. The Peak Emergence Period (PEP) of H. longipennis was during second fortnight of June (17th - 30th June,) after a heavy rainfall.

4. Soil application of Imidacloprid 200 SL (0.048 kg a.i./ha) proved to be most effective insecticide for the management of H. longipennis Blanch. in Soybean followed by Imidacloprid 0.75G applied @ 0.09kg a.i/ha and Chlorpyriphos 20 EC (0.40 kg a.i/ha) or slow release granule formulation of Chlorpyriphos @ 2.50 kg a.i/ha.

5. Post-sown soil application of Imidacloprid 200 SL (0.08 kg a.i./ha) or imidacloprid 0.75G (0.09 kg a.i./ha) in standing crop of soybean occurred most effective insecticide against the H. longipennis Blanch. followed by Chlorpyriphos 20 EC (0.80 kg a.i./ha).

6. Combined application of Imidacloprid 200 SL (0.048 kg a.i./ha) with M. anisopliae spore dust (0.048 kg a.i./ha + 5 x 1013 conidia/ha) or Beauveria bassiana spore dust (5 x 1013 conidia/ha) found effective against H. longipennis Blanch. in Soybean.

7. M. anisopliae spore dust applied alone at the rate of 1x1014, 5x1013 conidia/ha and 3.0 and 5.0g/m2 was not found so promising, compared to insecticide, in controlling the white grubs.

[B]. Cutworm:

1. Out of four species of cutworm moths i.e. Agrotis flammatra, Agrotis segetum and Amathes c. nigrum, Agrotis ipsilon was recorded as predominating species followed by Agrotis flammatra, Agrotis segetum and Amathes c. nigrum in Uttarakhand hills.

2. The emergence of cutworm moths was recorded from third week of March (second fortnight) and the Peak Emergence Period (PEP) was recorded during the first fortnight of April.

3. Soil application of Imidacloprid 200 SL (0.048 kg a.i./ha) proved most effective for the management of Agrotis ipsilon (Hufn.) & wireworm, Drasterius spp.

4. Foliar spray of Bt formulation (0.20%) and soil application of spore dust of M. anisopliae (1x 1014 conidia/ha) and B. bassiana (1 x 1014 conidia/ha) can be use for the management of cutworm but these are less promising compared to chemical insecticide.

[C]. Soil Arthropods:

1. Among the different soil fauna, soil mites and collembolans were found to be predominant soil arthropods and the populations were very high in forest litter ecosystem (FLI) as compared to fallow land (FLA) and agro-ecosystem (AEC).

2. In general, forest litter ecosystem (FLI) was observed to be most favourable ecosystem for the soil fauna.

3. Among the various soil arthropods inhabiting in soil, soil mites was in maximum proportion (> 50%) followed by collembolan, proturan, dipluran and earthworm.

Important recommendations:

The management strategies have been developed and also incorporated in Package and Practice manual of state government. The strategies are as follows:

Whitegrub:

1. Holotrichia longipennis Blanch. (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae) was found to be predominant species followed by Brahmina coriaceae and Anomala lineatopennis.

2. Soil application of Imidacloprid 200 SL (0.048 kg a.i./ha) proved to be most effective insecticide for the management of H. longipennis Blanch. in Soybean followed by Imidacloprid 0.75G applied @ 0.09kg a.i/ha and Chlorpyriphos 20 EC (0.40 kg a.i/ha) or slow release granule formulation of Chlorpyriphos @ 2.50 kg a.i/ha.

Post-sown soil application of Imidacloprid 200 SL (0.08 kg a.i./ha) or imidacloprid 0.75G (0.09 kg a.i./ha) in standing crop of soybean occurred most effective insecticide against the H. longipennis Blanch. followed by Chlorpyriphos 20 EC (0.80 kg a.i./ha).

Ongoing research projects:

As per technical programme following activity are undertaken

1. Monitoring of Soil Arthropods:

a. Species profiling of soil arthropods through light trap:

b. Population Monitoring of scarabacid beetles on host trees:

c. Population Monitoring:

d. Monitoring of natural enemies of soil arthropods:

2. Management of Whitegrubs through Chemicals:

a. Evaluation of granular insecticides against whitegrub.

b. Evaluation of some liquid insecticides against whitegrub

3. Management of Cutworm:

a. Management of cutworms through plant products.

4. Location Specific Trials

Sugarcane white grub has become a major problem in sugarcane producing area of Haridwar district. Out of six blocks of Haridwar district, the heavily infested blocks are Laksar, Bahdrabad, Khanpur. The biology of the said insect which is not known and has been undertaken by this center to study the biology so that management strategies could be generated.