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About Pink Bollworm

Focus: GS III: Agriculture

Why in News?

Pink bollworm – responsible for damaging nearly 4 lakh acres of cotton in 2021 – has been recently observed in certain fields within the Bathinda and Mansa districts of Punjab.

About Pink Bollworm:

  • Destructive Pest: Pink bollworm is a highly destructive pest that primarily affects cotton crops.
  • Scientific Name: Its scientific name is Pectinophora gossypiella.
  • Distribution: Originally native to India, it is now found in almost all cotton-growing countries worldwide.
  • Description: The adults are small moths, measuring about 3/8 inch in length, with dark brown coloration and markings on the forewing. The larvae, which are the destructive stage, have distinctive pink bands and can grow up to ½ inch in length before pupating.
Ecological Threat:
  • Pink bollworms pose a significant threat to cotton plants. Female moths lay over 200 eggs during their two-week lifespan.
  • Once hatched, the larvae feed on the cotton seeds and damage the fibers, resulting in reduced crop yield and quality.
  • Mature larvae cut out the boll and drop to the ground, where they cocoon near the soil surface.
  • In addition to cotton, pink bollworms have been observed to attack hibiscus, okra, and hollyhock plants.

-Source: Indian express

December 2023