NEW RECORD OF AN ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGUS Verticillium sp. ON CARDAMOM WHITEFLY Kanakarajiella cardamomi (David and Subramaniam)



Small cardamom (Elettaria cardamonmm  Maton) popularly known as “Queen of Spices" is  native to Agasthikoodarn evergreen forest of  Western Ghats in South India (Kumar, l993).  Among the insects reported on cardamom, the  whitefly Kanakarajiella cardamomi (David and  Subramaniam) (Hemiptera : Aleyrodidac) is a  major insect pest causing a yield loss of 20~40%  (Selvakumaran et aI., 1999). Unusual sudden rise  in temperature (27°C) coupled with long break  during the monsoon (June-July, i999)  resulted in severe outbreak of K. cardamomi  (Josephrajkumar and Murugan, 2000).  Temperature 20°C was not recorded in cardamom  hill reserve coinciding with monsoon in the last  five decades (Murugan et al., 2000). No such  epidemic was reported from other cardamom  growing tracts. A survey was therefore, conducted  to determine the occunence of natural enemies  of the pest at five important cardamom growing  pancltayats of Idukki district, Kerala, constituting  more than 65% of the area under the crop.

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