Impact of weather and crop phenology on the incidence of red banded mango caterpillar, Deanolis sublimbalis Snellen (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)
Red Banded Mango Caterpillar (RBMC) is a serious pest of mango in several mango growing regions of South and South-East Asia. Efficient and timely management of RBMC can be possible through the knowledge of predicting the time of pest attack in relation to crop phenology and the prevalent weather factors as this mainly feeds on fruits. In general, the forewarning models enable the prediction of pest occurrence well in advance allowing the growers to take timely action in an efficient manner. The current study prospected the scope of host plant phenological parameters along with the abiotic factors to predict the accurate incidence of RBMC during mango fruiting period. The variables viz., crop phenology [flowering, fruiting (moong size, pea size, marble size, lime size, fist size, >fist size, before nut formation, after nut formation), morning relative humidity, minimum temperature were found to be reliable indicators for predicting the RBMC incidence with significant coefficient of determination (R2= 0.80) over other variables. The weather and crop phonological stage based forecasting model in RBMC would facilitate timely spray interventions.
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