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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

bark eating caterpillar (Indarbela quadrinotata)

Host plants / species affected
Acacia (wattles)
Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)
Albizia procera (white siris)
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)
Camellia sinensis (tea)
Cassia fistula (Indian laburnum)
Chloroxylon swietenia (satinwood)
Citrus reticulata (mandarin)
Citrus sinensis (navel orange)
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)
Corymbia citriodora (lemon-scented gum)
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (red gum)
Falcataria moluccana (batai wood)
Ficus benghalensis (banyan)
Ficus carica (common fig)
Gmelina arborea (candahar)
Grewia asiatica (phalsa)
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)
Litchi chinensis (lichi)
Mangifera indica (mango)
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)
Mimusops elengi (spanish cherry)
Mitragyna parvifolia
Moringa oleifera (horse radish tree)
Morus (mulberrytree)
Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry)
Populus (poplars)
Populus deltoides (poplar)
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)
Psidium guajava (guava)
Punica granatum (pomegranate)
Rosa (roses)
Sesbania cannabina (corkwood tree)
Syzygium cumini (black plum)
Tectona grandis (teak)
Terminalia arjuna (arjun)
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)
List of symptoms/signs
Stems  -  dieback
Stems  -  external feeding
Stems  -  internal feeding
Stems  -  visible frass
Large dark-brown webby masses, comprising chewed wooden particles and faecal matter, are conspicuously seen plastered loosely on tree trunks or main branches, especially near the forks.

The larva bores into the trunk or branches, usually at forks or angles, to a depth of 15-25 cm. This tunnel is the refuge of the larva during the day (and later for pupation); at night it emerges from the tunnel and eats the bark of the tree in the immediate vicinity of the hole. Small trees are easily ring-barked by this pest and die. If enough bark is eaten away, even large trees are disturbed by the interrupted sap flow; they may fail to flush and drying of the branches occurs.
Prevention and control
Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

Keep orchards clean and avoid overcrowding of trees (Butani, 1979).

Mechanical Control

Inserting an iron spike into each hole to kill the larva is effective while infestation is low (Sharma and Kumar, 1986).

Host-Plant Resistance

Because of the highly polyphagous nature of the pest, results with resistant cultivars have not been encouraging. Sandhu et al. (1977) reported the guava cultivar 'Cattley' as the least susceptible. In citrus, grapefruits are less susceptible than mandarins and oranges (Sandhu et al., 1979). The variety of loquat least susceptible to I. quadrinotata is 'Thames Pride' (Lal and Singh, 1982).

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:

Precise losses in yield have not been reported because of the peculiar feeding habits of the pest, being confined to the stem only on a wide range of host plants. However, stem damage by the pest results in an interruption in the translocation of cell sap, leading to inhibition of growth and adverse effects on the fruiting capacity of trees (Butani, 1979), while severe cases of infestation lead to complete death of young trees (Hill, 1993). Similarly, tunnelling of stems causes the quality of timber wood, such as teak billets, to deteriorate; an excessive number of tunnels result in timber being rejected (Beeson, 1993).
Related treatment support
Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Thokre, V. S.; CABI, 2013, English language
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