Pests of Pulse Crops Explained

Pulse crops are a major group of field crops. Most of these belong to family Fabaceae. Pulses are rich proteins such as essential amino acid and lysine. India is the largest producer of pulse crops in the world, but per acre productivity is low. One of the major constraint for low yield of pulse crop is the extensive damage caused by the insect pests.

About 250 insects have been known to attack and feeding on these crops. Of these, insects such as pod borers, stem borers, leaf miners, foliage caterpillars, cutworms, jassids, aphids, and whitefiles are the most important. Some polyphagous insects also attack on these crops, but damage is considerable.

In this post, we will know about the pest of pulse crops.

Answer key: MCQ on pests of pulse crops

Go to MCQ Page
Go to MCQ Page
Go to MCQ Page


Tur pod bug: 01-05

01: Scientific name of tur pod bug is Clavigralla gobbosa Spinola.

02: The family of tur pod bug is Coreidae.

03: Both the nymphs and adults suck cell sap and are harm to the crops.

04: Hardronotus antestiae is a minute insect, which belongs to family Scelionidae. It parasitizes the eggs of Clavigralla gibbosa.

05: The tur pod bugs appear on crops in October. They mate several times in end to end position and the copulation period varies from an hour to nealy 24 hours. After a lapse of about 11 days, which is pre-oviposition period, the females lay eggs.

Pod bug: 06-09

06: Riptortus pedestris or pod bug is also known as bean bug.

07: Fabricius reported Riptortus pedestris for the first time.

08: Pod bug attack on red gram, cowpea, lablab, soybean and other pulses. Lentil is a oilseed crop. It is a not a host plant of pod bug.

09: Due to the attack of pod bug, the seeds within the pods become rough and rugged. Tender pods when attacked do not develop.

Gram pod borer: 10-20

10: Gram pod borer is economically most important pest of gram.

11: Gram pod borer

  • Scientific name: Helicoverpa armigera
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Noctuidae

12: Helicoverpa armigera is a cosmopolitan pest and is widely distributed in India.

13: Helicoverpa armigera is also known as corn earworm and cotton bollworm.

14: The damaging stage of gram pod borer is caterpillar.

15: H. armigera may produce as many as 8 generations

16: Hubner described H. armigera in 1808 for the first time.

17: Trap crop of H. armigera are cowpea, sunflower, maize, and marigold. 

18: Campoletis chlorideae Uchida is a larval parasite of gram pod borer.

19: Management practice of H. armigera are as follows

  • Timely sowing up to mid October or growing early maturing cultivars
  • Use of tolerant varieties such as JG 315 and JG 74
  • Application of NPV @250-500 equivalents/ha alone

20: H. armigera is polyphagous in nature. It is a highly polyphagous pest. The pest has a wide range of host plant. The non-legume host plants of H. armigera are as follows

  • Cotton
  • Okra
  • Maize
  • Tomato
  • Sunflower

Plume moth: 21-25

21: Scientific name of plume moth is Exelastis atomosa.

22: Plume moth life cycle

  • The female may lay 17-19 eggs
  • Eggs hatch in 2-5 days
  • Young larvae feed on pods
  • Pupation takes place outside the pod on its surface or in the entrance hole itself.
  • Entire life cycle is completed in 17-42 days

23: The plume moth larvae first scrape the surface of the pods and finally make holes into them and feed on the seeds, reducing crop yield.

24: Plume moth is active during night.

25: The ETL of plume moth is 5 insects per plant.

Other pests of pulse crops: 26-30

26: Field bean pod borer is a cold weather pest of lablab and red gram, while spotted pod borer is wide spread in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.

27: Etiella zinckenella or the lentil pod borer is a serious pest of lentil as well as green peas.

28: Bean fly or Ophiomyia phaseoli is a leaf miner of pulse crops.

29: Girdle beetle is a very common pest of soybean

30: Girdle beetle feeds on the xylem of the stem.

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