Occurrence of wild silk moth, Cricula trifenestrata (Helfer) on cashew, Anacardium occidentale L. under terai conditions of West Bengal.
During October 22002 and May-June 2003, large numbers of larvae were found infesting a cashew plantation in Pundibari, Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India. The insect was later identified as Cricula trifenestrata. In the early stage, the larvae were found congregated on the under-surface of leaves. Later, the larvae dispersed but were restricted to feeding on leaves of a few neighbouring branches. The larvae were seen feeding voraciously on leaves, resulting in complete defoliation with only the midribs being left. If left uncontrolled, the larvae can defoliate the whole plant as it moved from one side of the plant to another. During both seasons, the insect was effectively controlled by spraying with contact insecticides having a knockdown action, such as cypermethrin. This is thought to be the first report of C. trifenestrata infesting cashew from this region.