Rice Yellow Stem Borer [Scirpophaga incertulas]

Scirpophaga incertulas (Pyralidae : Lepidoptera)

Adult : Female moth has bright yellowish forewings with distinct black spot at
the centre. Male moth is relatively darker in color and smaller in size.
Eggs : Lays 150-200 eggs on upper surface of leaf near tips and cover with
brownish body scales.
Larva : Yellowish white larva with orange yellow head.
Pupa : Pupates inside stem 5-10 cm above water level.
Damage : Freshly hatched larvae hang from leaves with salival threads and
disperse to neighboring plants by wind. They first nibble inside leaf
sheath and soon bore in to stem. Due to feeding on shoot tip results in 
death of terminal shoot (dead heart) in vegetative stage and white
panicles with unfilled grains (white ear) in reproductive stage.


  • Clipping leaf tips at the time of transplantation to avoid egg masses.
  • Cutting stubbles close to soil surface destroys pupal stages.
  • By installing pheromone traps @ 5 per acre can be useful in monitoring pests incidence.
  • When ever adult moths or egg masses are observed in the field, spray 5% Neem seed kernel suspension to ward off egg laying adults.
  • Fields that are not sparyed with insecticides, egg parasites like Trichogramma will control the pest naturally. Release these egg parasites @ 20000 per acre twice or thrice depending on pest incidence.
  • Cultivation fo resistant varieties like- Vikas, Sasyasri, Rasi, Cauvery, Swarnamukhi, Varsha and Pothana etc.
Area of attention: