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Sugarcane Inter-Node Borer


(Chilo sacchariphagus indicus)
Sugarcane Inter-Node Borer

Adult moth : Dull light brown forewings, 12-18mm long, dirty-white to light brown hind wings (male) and silky white (female). Larvae : first-instar about 1 mm long; mature larvae about 30 mm, with brown head, light-brown prothoracic shield, body white with brown or black tubercles and two longitudinal violet stripes on each side. Pupae : female pupae are 16-20 mm long; males are generally slightly shorter (13-16 mm), reddish-brown, darker dorsally.

Life Cycle

Eggs : up to 850 eggs laid by female over 2-3 nights (with larger females laying more eggs), on the upper and lower leaf surfaces and occasionally on leaf sheaths. Larvae hatch after 6-7 days and pupate after 45-70 days. Adults emerge after 7-10 days.


A serious pest of sugarcane, estimated damages on average per acre is around 8-10% per acre. Also attacks sorghum, maize and rice. Larvae eat through tightly rolled leaves, producing 'windowpanes' as the leaves unfurl and characteristic 'dead hearts' at the growing points. They mainly bore into softer elongating internodes, causing reduced growth, growth of lateral shoots, constriction of the stem and shortening of internodes at the point of attack and death of the top. Six or more larvae may develop in a single internode, but it is usual to find only one or two per internode.