Occurrence of slug caterpillar Phauda flammans Wlk. (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae) on Ficus racemosa L. in South India


Nageshchandra, B.K.; Rajagopal, B.K.; Balasubramanian, R.

Mysore Journal of Agricultural Sciences 6(2): 186-189

1972


Heavy infestation of Ficus glomerata by Phauda flammans Wlk. was observed for the first time in South India near Bangalore in June-July 1969 and 1970. The Zygaenid, which has been recorded from this food-plant in North India and other Asian countries, skeletonises the leaves during the early larval instars and destroys them completely in the later ones. The adult and larva are briefly described.

186
THE
MYSORE
JOURNAL
OF
AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES
[VOL
VI
Occurrence
of
Slug
Caterpillar
Phauda
flammans
Wlk.
(Lepidoptera:
Zygaenidae)
on
Ficus
racemosa
L.
in
South
India
HEAVY
infestation
of
a
slug
caterpillar,
Phauda
flammans
Wlk.,
on
Ficus
racemosa
L.
(=
F.
glomerata
Roxb.)
was
observed
on
a
couple
of
trees
around
Bangalore
during
June-July
in
1969
and
1970.
Hampson
(1892)
recorded
this
species
without
mentioning
the
host
from
North
India.
He
reported
its
distribution
in
China,
Jawa
1972]
RESEARCH
NOTES
187
and
Sumatra.
This
was
recorded
on
banyan
(Ficus
indica
L.)
from
Canton
(China)
by
Na
(Yok
chou)
(1936),
who
also
worked
on
its
biology.
Roonwal
el
al.
(1956)
reported
this
insect
on
F.
glomerata
from
Dehra
Dun
and
other
parts
of
Uttar
Pradesh
in
North
India.
Mathur
and
Singh
(1959)
included
in
their
list
of
forest
insects,
the
larva
of
this
species
as
defoliating
F.
racemosa.
Beeson
(1961)
recorded
this
slug
caterpillar
as
defoliating
F.
glomerata.
The
present
reporting
of
this
insect
on
F.
racemosa
is
a
new
record
of
both
the
insect
and
its
occurrence
on
the
above-mentioned
host
from
South
India.
Adults
(Figs.
1
and
2)
are
medium-sized
moths.
Head
and
thorax
scarlet
coloured.
Antennae
black
with
white
tips,
bipectinate
in
the
male
and
simple
in
the
female.
Mid-
and
hind-tibia
with
minute
terminal
pairs
of
spurs.
The
wings
are
very
long
and
narrow,
with
the
fore
wing
having
the
apex
rounded
and
the
outer
margin
very
oblique.
It
is
scarlet
coloured
with
a
black
patch
on
outer
margin.
Hind
wing
semidiaphanous,
the
basal
area
reddish,
the
outer
area
blackish.
Abdomen
is
black,
sparsely
covered
with
scarlet
hairs
and
with
thick
scarlet
lateral
tufts
of
hairs
on
all
except
the
first
two
segments
and
a
pair
of
long
anal
tufts
in
the
male
(Fig.
1).
The
eggs
are
yellowish.
The
caterpillar
(Fig.
3)
is
a
slug;
about
18
mm
long
resembling
a
bird's
dropping.
It
is
broad
at
anterior
end
and
narrow
at
posterior
end,
reddish-brown
or
chocolate-brown
in
colour
with
body
margins
trans-
parent
yellow.
The
young
caterpillar
fed
by
scraping
the
green
matter
and
thus
skeletonising
the
leaves.
The
older
caterpillar
defoliated
the
leaves
(Fig.
4).
The
damage
was
so
severe
that
only
leaf
stalks
remained
on
the
affected
tree
(Fig.
5).
The
caterpillar
pupated
in
cracks
and
cre-
vices
on
the
trunk
of
the
tree
in
a
brownish
tough
shell
like
cocoon.
Further
observations
on
its
incidence
and
biology
are
in
progress.
The
authors
are
thankful
to
Dr
M.
Puttarudriah,
Professor
of
Entomology
and
Dr
G.
P.
Channabasavanna,
Entomologist,
for
providing
the
facilities
and
guidance
and
for
going
through
the
manuscript.
Their
thanks
are
also
due
to
British
Museum
authorities,
London,
for
the
identification
of
the
specimen.
Department
of
Entomology
B.
K.
NAGESHCHANDRA
Agricultural
College
B.
K.
RAJAGOPAL
liebbal
Campus,
Bangalore-24
R.
BALASUBRAMANIAN
1S8
THE
MYSORI
-
JOURNAL
OF
AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES
[Vol.
VI
4
ti
FIGS.
-5
FIG.
1.
Adult
Male.
FIG.
2.
Adult
Female.
FIG.
3.
Larva.
FIG.
4.
A
Leaf
Damaged
by
Larva.
FIG.
5.
Tree
showing
severe
damage
caused
by
Larvae,
1972]
RESEARCH
NOTES
189
REFERENCES
BEESON,
C.
F.
C.,
1961,
The
ecology
and
control
of
the
forest
insects
of
India
and
the
neighbouring
countries.
Cont.
of
India
Publ.,
p.767.
HAMPSON,
G.
F.,
1892,
Fauna
of
British
India
Moths-1.
Thaker,
Spink
&
Co.,
Calcutta,
p.
527.
MATHUR,
R.
N.
AND
SINGH,
B.,
1959,
A
list
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India
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(New
Series),
171
(4):
p.
165.
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(YoK
CHou),
1936,
Two
Zygaenids,
Arlona
fitneralis,
Butler
and
Phatula
flanunans
Wlk.
in
Canton.
Ent.
&
Phytopath.,
4(6):
pp.
100-101.
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M.
L.,
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R.
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P.
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SINGH,
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CHANDRA,
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R.
S.
AND
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KRISHNA,
1963,
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