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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

oil palm bunch moth (Tirathaba mundella)

Host plants / species affected
Areca catechu (betelnut palm)
Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm)
Mangifera indica (mango)
Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  internal feeding
Growing point  -  internal feeding; boring
Inflorescence  -  internal feeding
Symptoms
The larvae bore into unopened spathes and feed on the tender floral parts. They also attack tender nuts at different stages of development. Infested fruit bunches are characterized by long tubes of silk and frass constructed by the larvae. Severe infestation may cause fruit deformation and bunch abortion.
Prevention and control

Various insecticides have been evaluated for the control of T. mundella (Wood and Yew, 1974; Chan, 1973). Removing, or avoiding the accumulation of, rotten fruit bunches is a useful practice in addition to chemical control in areas where T. mundella breeding is common.

Impact
The economically damaging rate of T. mundella infestation on oil palm in Malaysia is 3-5 larvae per fruit bunch. Samples of 20 bunches per 100 acres are taken in the field and the number of larvae per bunch are counted (Wood and Ng, 1974). Outbreaks of T. mundella frequently occur in new plantations; they do not follow a predictable pattern.
Related treatment support
 
External factsheets
Pestnet Factsheets, Pestnet, English language
TNAU Agritech Portal Crop Protection Factsheets, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, English language
TNAU Agritech Portal Crop Protection Factsheets, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Tamil language
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