Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Bele (Abelmoschus) shoot borer (023)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On bele (aibika, sliperi kabis, island cabbage, Abelmoschus manihot), okra, ornamental Hibiscus, and tomato.
  • Eggs laid singly; larvae hatch, bore into young stems and cause wilts.
  • Natural enemies: lacewings, lady beetles, parasitoid wasps.
  • Cultural control: grow crops during wet season when populations are lower; prune stems several centrimetres below entry holes; after last harvest, pull out and burn the plants.
  • Chemical control: PDPs (with soap): chilli, derris, pyrethrum, or neem; use biopesticides, e.g., Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), or spinosad, but best to spray young larvae; use synthetic pyrethroids, but more likely to kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Bele shoot borer, spotted bollworm, spiny bollworm

Scientific Name

Earias vittella

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson, Mani Mua & Helen Tsatsia
Information from MAF Plant Health & Environment Laboratory (2011) Spotted Bollworm (Earias vittella): PaDIL -; and from CABI (2019) Earias vittella Crop protection Compendium ( Photos 4&5 Graham Teakle, Canberra.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Co2019) mmunity.

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