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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

gold-fringed rice borer (Chilo auricilius)

Host plants / species affected
Oryza sativa (rice)
Poaceae (grasses)
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Growing point  -  dead heart
Growing point  -  dwarfing; stunting
Growing point  -  internal feeding; boring
Growing point  -  odour
Leaves  -  abnormal forms
Leaves  -  external feeding
Stems  -  dead heart
Stems  -  internal feeding
Stems  -  odour
Stems  -  stunting or rosetting
Whole plant  -  dead heart
On sugarcane, damage by C. auricilius early in growth kills leaves and may produce 'dead hearts'. In older cane there may be no obvious external symptoms, but if leaf sheaths are stripped away, bore holes in the internodes may be apparent. Damaged internodes may show reddening of tissues and may emit a rancid odour. Otherwise it may be necessary to split canes to find the galleries that have been eaten out by larvae.

On rice, symptoms are similar to those of other stem borer species with 'dead hearts' appearing early in crop development and 'white heads' later when normal development of the inflorescence is prevented.
Prevention and control

On rice, control measures will be the same as those described for C. suppressalis (Walker), with particular emphasis on IPM. The relative importance of different lepidopterous stem borer species attacking rice will influence decisions on control, which must be based on local conditions. Control measures include: cultural control (flooding, harrowing and ploughing to minimize population carryover; destroying volunteer rice plants; regulating planting times; using early-maturing varieties; synchronizing planting; and removing stems at harvest), biological control (through conservation and enhancement of natural enemies), use of host-plant resistance and pheromonal control to disrupt mating. Chemical control is generally considered unsuitable.

Chaudhary and Sharma (1986) have summarized control measures used against C. auricilius on sugarcane in India.

Cultural Control

On sugarcane, healthy setts should be selected for planting or, if this is not possible, infested setts should be planted in furrows under a 5-7 cm layer of soil to prevent the emergence of adults. Harvest residues and stubbles should be destroyed to prevent carryover from one crop to another and applications of fertilizers should be restricted to recommended doses, as heavy applications, especially of nitrogenous fertilizers, favour build-up of stem borer populations.

Singh et al. (1997) found that the incidence of C. auricilius was markedly higher in autumn and spring planted crops than in the late spring planted crop which had a negligible incidence.

Host-Plant Resistance

Plant breeding for host-plant resistance against sugarcane and rice stem borers is in progress in most countries where these crops are grown.

Madan et al. (1981) reviewed varietal resistance in sugarcane against stem borers and noted that genotypes that are comparatively resistant include Co 1007, Co 1236, Co 7302, Co 7303, S-5/75, S-38/76, E 92 and E 168. Kanwar and Srivastava (1999) in Indian Punjab tested the varieties CoJ64, CoJ83, CoS8436, CoS88230, CoJ82 and CoJ84. Varieties CoJ83, CoS88230 and CoS8436 were most susceptible to the borer.

Biological Control

Classical biological control of C. auricilius by the introduction of exotic agents has been attempted on a number of occasions on sugarcane in India and Java; biological control by conservation, augmentation and release of indigenous natural enemies has also been attempted.

In India, Chaudhary and Sharma (1986) reported that trials with Trichogramma spp. and with the exotic tachinid Lixophaga diatraeae had failed to give effective control of C. auricilius. Of the indigenous parasitoids, the tachinid Sturmiopsis inferens and the braconid Pycnobracon mutator may parasitize more than 50% of larvae; mass-rearing techniques were being developed to augment natural populations. Varma et al. (1991) reported that the inundative release of Trichogramma chilonis on sugarcane in India reduced C. auricilius infestation from 61 to 12.6% in treated areas. Brar et al. (1996) also found it successful in Punjab. Varma and Nigam (1989) reported the successful establishment of the exotic braconid parasitoid, Allorhogas pyralophagus, at two locations in India.

In Java, Samoedi (1989) reported that mass releases of Diatraeophaga striatalis effectively controlled C. auricilius on sugarcane.

Work on rice in India to assess the effectiveness of 14 indigenous and exotic egg, larval and pupal parasitoids indicated that strains of Trichogramma japonicum from India or the Philippines and a native Telenomus sp. were the most effective egg parasitoids; the exotic nematode Neoaplectana carpocapsae showed promise as a larval parasitoid and the native Tetrastichus ayyari was an effective pupal parasitoid (Rao and Rao, 1980).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:

Phytosanitary Measures

In the past, the main spread of stem borers within and between countries and continents was probably in infested planting material, especially sugarcane setts. Further spread is now limited by phytosanitary regulations controlling the transfer of such material.
Waterhouse (1993), in a listing of the major pests of agriculture in South-East Asia, includes C. auricilius as a pest of rice, but does not give any rankings of its importance. Recent surveys in the Philippines indicate that it is of some importance there (Barrion et al., 1990).

In India, Chaudhary and Sharma (1986) reported that C. auricilius causes heavy losses to the sugar industry, particularly in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, and they review information on crop loss assessment. At 29% internode infestation, cane yield is reduced by 17-33%; it has been estimated that cane sugar production is reduced by 0.65% for every 1% borer infestation of stems.

In Orissa, India, Jena and Patnaik (1996) found that the weight loss of cane varied between 6.1 and 10.6%.
Related treatment support
External factsheets
IRRI Factsheets, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), English language
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