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Primary and secondary storage insects

This topic provides information about primary and secondary storage insects.

Primary Storage Pest

Rice weevil: Sitophilus oryzae, S. zeamais, S.granarius

Symptoms of damage

  • Both grub and adults cause the damage.
  • Grains are hollowed out; kernels are reduced to mere powder. S. oryzae and S. zeamais starts its attack in field itself.
  • Adults cut circular holes. Heating takes place during heavy infestation, which is known as ‘dry heating’

Identification of the pest

  • Egg -Translucent white, plugs the egg hole with gelatinous secretion, laid singly on grains.
  • Grub - White with yellowish brown head, apodous, fleshy, curved, remains within the grain
  • Pupa -Pupates inside the grain.
  • Adult - Small, reddish brown to chocolate coloured weevils has characteristic snout, and the elytra have four yellow spot

Khapra beetle: Trogoderma granarium

Host range: Wheat, maize, jowar, rice, pulses, oil seeds and their cakes.

Symptoms of damage

  • Adults are harmless. Grub damages the grain starting with germ portion, surface scratching and devouring the grain.
  • It reduces the grain into frass.
  • Excessive moulting results in loss of market value due to insanitation caused by the cast skin, frass and hair.
  • Crowding of larvae leads to unhygienic conditions in warehouses.
  • Damage is confined to peripheral layers of bags in bulk storage.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - Eggs are laid on the grains or crevices
  • Grub - Grub is straw coloured with dark brown hairy bands on each segment and typical posterior tuft forming a tail of long hairs. It is active, move and feed freely.
  • Pupa -Pupation takes place on the surface of the grain in bulk and overlapping edges of bags.
  • Adult -Reddish brown, convex, oval in shape with practically no distinct division of head, thorax and abdomen. Abdomen size is comparatively larger.

Lesser grain borer/Hooded grain borer/paddy borer beetle: Rhyzopertha dominica

Host range: Paddy, rice, wheat, maize.

Symptoms of damage

  • Grubs and adults cause damage and are voracious feeders.
  • Adults reduce the grain kernels to mere frass.
  • Grubs eat their way into the grain or feed on the grain dust and are capable of attacking grain externally.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - Eggs are laid on the surface or on the interstices of cereal grains singly or in clusters.
  • Grub - White, apodous with brown head, free living upto 3rd instar.
  • Pupa - Grub enters the grain after 3rd instar for pupation.
  • Adult - Brown to blackish beetle, head is deflexed down wards below prothorax to such an extent that it is almost hidden in a dorsal view. Antenna clubbed with large loose three segments.

Angoumois grain moth or Grain moth: Sitotroga cerealella

Host range: Paddy, maize, jowar, barley and wheat (rarely).

Symptoms of damage

  • Larvae damage grains, adults being harmless.
  • Grains are hollowed out.
  • It attacks both in fields and stores.
  • In stored bulk grain, infestation remains confined to upper 30 cms depth only.
  • Caterpillar enters the grain through crack or abrasion on grain.
  • It feeds inside and remains in a single grain only.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg -White eggs on the surface of damp grains in stores or fields, which soon become red.
  • Larva - White with yellow head.
  • Pupa - Pupates in cocoon inside the grain.
  • Adult - Dirty yellowish brown with narrow pointed wings completely folded over back in a sloping manner.

Pulse beetle: Callosobruchus chinensis, C. maculatus

Host range: All whole pulses, beans and grams.

Symptoms of damage

  • Grubs eat up the grain kernel and make a cavity.
  • Adults come out making exit holes.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - Laid singly, glued to the surface of the pod (in fields) or on grains (in stores). Fresh eggs are translucent, orange cream in colour, changing to greyish white with age.
  • Grub -Fleshy, curved, creamy white in colour with black mouth parts.
  • Pupa - Pupation takes place in a pupal cell prepared beneath the seed coat.
  • Adult
    • Brownish grey beetle with characteristic elevated ivory like spots near the middle of the dorsal side.
    • It is small, short, and active with long conspicuous serrate antenna.
    • Elytra do not cover the abdomen completely, which is called as pygidium.
    • Adults are short lived, it is harmless and do not feed on storage produce at all.

Tamarind/Peanut bruchid: Caryedon serratus

Symptoms of damage

  • Grub causes the damage.
  • Circular hole on fruits and seeds of tamarind both in tree and storage.

larva1adult

Identification of the pest

  • Adult: Small grey coloured beetle.

  • Egg - Laid singly, glued to the surface of the pod (in fields) or on grains (in stores). Fresh eggs are translucent, orange cream in colour, changing to greyish white with age.

  • Grub -Fleshy, curved, creamy white in colour with black mouth parts.

  • Pupa - Pupation takes place in a pupal cell prepared beneath the seed coat.

Adult

  • Brownish grey beetle with characteristic elevated ivory like spots near the middle of the dorsal side.
  • It is small, short, and active with long conspicuous serrate antenna.
  • Elytra do not cover the abdomen completely, which is called as pygidium.
  • Adults are short lived, it is harmless and do not feed on storage produce at all.

Cigarette beetle: Lasioderma sericorne

Host range: Wheat flour, cereal bran, peanuts, cocoa beans, cottonseed, spices and even insecticides containing pyrethrum, meat and fishmeal, ginger, turmeric and chillies.

Symptoms of damage

  • Grub causes the damage which made circular, pinhead sized bore holes on processed tobacco.

Identification of the pest

  • Grub - White, fleshy and hairy grub.
  • Adult - Small, robust, oval, light brown round beetle with its thorax and head bent downward gives the insect a humped appearance. Elytra have minute hairs on them and are not striated.

Drug store beetle: Stegobium paniceum

Host range:Turmeric, coriander, ginger, dry vegetable and animal matter.

Symptoms of damage

  • Circular pinhead sized bore holes, caused by grubs

Identification of the pest

  • Grub:Similar to cigarette beetle but not hairy.
  • Adult:Reddish brown round beetle with striated elytra and clubbed antenna.

Sweet Potato weevil: Cylas formicarius

Host range: Sweet Potato: Potato

Symptoms of damage

  • Grubs and adults bore into tubers, field and storage.
  • Adult weevils feed on vines, leaves.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - laid in cavities on vines or tubers.
  • Pupate -inside vine or tuber inside tuber.
  • Adult- Slender, ant like with long snout, shiny black with reddish brown thorax and leg.

Potato tuber moth: Pthorimaea operculella

Host range: Potato

Symptoms of damage

  • Larvae mine into leaves or bore into tender shoots and developing tubers.
  • Rotting and foul smelling of damaged tubers

Identification of the pest

  • Egg-laid singly on under surface of leaves and exposed tubers
  • Larvae - Pale greenish
  • Pupa - silken cocoon among trash or ground or bags
  • Adult -small dark brown moth with fringed wings; forewings grey brown with dark spots and hind wings dirty white.

Secondary Storage Pest

Rust red flour beetle: Tribolium castaneum

Confused flour beetle: Tribolium confusum

Host range: Broken grains/ mechanically damaged grains, germ portion and milled products. Heavy infestation causes stinking odour in flour, adversely affecting the dough quality. It is an important pest for mill machinery.

Symptoms of damage

  • Grubs feed on milled products.
  • Flour beetles are secondary pests of all grains and primary pests of flour and other milled products.
  • In grains, embryo or germ portion is preferred.
  • They construct tunnels as they move through flour and other granular food products.
  • In addition they release gaseous quinines to the medium, which may produce a readily identifiable acid odour in heavy infestations.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg - White, translucent, sticky, slender and cylindrical.
  • Grub -Worm like, whitish cream colour, faint stripes, two spines like appendages at the end segment.
  • Pupa - Pupa remains loosely lying in the grain and is naked.
  • Adult - Oblong, flat, brown in colour. In T.confusum, the compound eyes are completely notched and antennae are not gradually thickened whereas in T.castaneum, the notch is not complete and antennae have a clear 3-segmented club.

Long headed flour beetle: Latheticus oryzae

Host range: Cereal flours, packaged food, rice and rice products, grains with excessive dust, dockage and broken grains with high moisture contents preferred.

Symptom of damage: Both grubs and adults feed.

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg -White, smooth, cylindrical eggs at random in grain and seams of the bags.
  • Grub - Active grub feeds voraciously.
  • Pupa- Pupa is naked.
  • Adult- Light brown with elongated body, resembles Tribolium sp. Antennae shorter than head, 11 segmented with 5 clubbed apical segments.

Saw toothed grain beetle: Oryzaephilus surinamensis

Host range: Rice, wheat, maize, cereal products, oil seeds and dry fruits.

Nature of damage

  • Adults and grub cause roughening of grain surface and off odour in grain.
  • Grains with higher percentage of broken, dockage and foreign matter sustain heavy infestation, which leads to heating of grain.

  • Egg: Whitish eggs laid loosely in cracks of storage receptacles or godowns.
  • Grub: Grub is slender, pale cream with two slightly darker patches on each segment.
  • Pupa: Full grown grub makes protective cocoon like covering with sticky secretion.
  • Adult: Narrow, flattened, thorax having six teeth like serrations on each side. Antenna clubbed. Elytra cover abdomen completely.

Rice moth: Corcyra cephalonica

Host range: Rice, jowar, other millets, whole cereals, cereal products, pulses, processed products of cereals, pulses, oil seeds, nuts, dry fruits and milled spices.

Symptoms of damage

  • Larva is only responsible for damage.
  • It contaminates food grains with frass, moults and dense webbing.
  • In whole grains, kernels are bound into lumps upto 2 kg

Identification of the pest

  • Egg: Small, oval, elliptical laid on wall, bags or on grain.
  • Larva:Creamy white has prothoracic shield.
  • Pupa:It webs silken shelter before pupation. In case of heavy infestation cocoons may be seen sticking to the grain bags. Cocoon dense white and tough.
  • Adult:Pale buff brown colour, forewings pale yellowish green and grey white hind wings.

Fig or Almond or Warehouse moth: Ephestia cautella

Host range: Wheat, rice, maize, jowar, groundnuts, spices.

Symptoms of damage

  • Larva feeds on germ portion leaving the rest of the kernel undamaged.
  • In bulk infestation its damage is limited to peripheral top layers only.
  • Web formation covers the bags, floor-space and mill machinery thereby leading to clogging in mills.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg: Eggs are laid in grains exposed at the sampling tube spots in jute bags.
  • Larva:Greyish white, hairy with dark brown head with 2 dark areas on the first segment behind the head.
  • Pupa: Spins silken cocoon at the time of pupation.
  • Adult: Dirty white to greyish in colour with indistinct black bands.

Indian meal moth: Plodia interpunctella

Host range: Maize, cereals, dry fruits, groundnuts and cereal products.

Symptoms of damage

  • Larva causes serious damage to ear and grain of maize; contaminates the grain with excreta, cast skins, webbings, dead individuals and cocoons; prefers to eat the germ portion and hence grains lose viability.
  • It feeds superficially but may construct more than one silken tunnel.

Identification of the pest

  • Egg: Greyish white with granular surface, laid indiscriminately at night.
  • Larva:Transparent, dirty white, skin is granular with hairy body.
  • Pupa: Straw coloured, changes colour to greyish with age, in silken cocoon.
  • Adult: Forewing basal half silver white or greyish, outer 2/3 portion is reddish copper bronze lustre with irregular bands.

Source : TNAU Agritech portal

3.00934579439
GOPI N Apr 22, 2019 04:09 PM

Useful information, i learnt many new things from this portal. It will be helpful for my research for research work. Thank you.

raksha Mar 08, 2018 04:22 PM

if family and order is mentioned it would be good

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