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Pest science and management

Record of new alternate hosts of rice hispa, Dicladispa armigera Olivier, from Himachal Pradesh (India)
Pawan K. Sharma and K.S. Verma, Department of Entomology, CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur-176062 (India)

Rice is one of the major cereal crops grown in Himachal Pradesh (India) and is frequently attacked by the rice hispa beetle, Dicladispa armigera Olivier (Sharma et al 2010). Two new alternate hosts, Panicum dichotomiflorum Michx. and Brachiaria ramosa (L.), of rice hispa were recorded from the Palampur region of Himachal Pradesh. Rice hispa beetles were found to survive on these hosts in the absence of rice. Both adults and larvae fed and completed development on P. dichotomiflorum (Fig. 1), whereas only adult feeding was observed on B. ramosa (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1. Feeding of D. armigera on P. dichotomiflorum by adult (in inset) and grub feeding inside mine.

Fig. 2. Adult feeding by D. armigera on Brachiaria ramosa. 2011

International Rice Research Notes (0117-4185)

Pest science and management


These newly observed hosts are added to a number of weed species that are also suitable alternate hosts. Ten alternate hosts have already been reported from mid-hill conditions of Himachal Pradesh. Chaudhary et al (2002) and Dale (1994) recorded Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers., Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv., E. colona (L.) Link, Panicum repens L., Paspalum paspalodes (Michx.) Scribn., Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash, and Zizania aquatica L. as further hosts of rice hispa. Furthermore, Dhaliwal (1979) recorded the adult beetle feeding on weeds such as E. crus-galli, E. colona, Paspalum distichum, and C. dactylon from Punjab, India. Detailed observations of rice hispa in the Kangra valley of Himachal suggest that emergence is influenced by the onset of monsoon rains. During the early monsoon rains of May and June, there is a sudden emergence of winter diapausing adults that feed on the alternate hosts, particularly Andropogon gayanus Kunth, Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers., and C. dactylon. During the last week of July, larvae and adults were observed on P. dichotomiflorum, with larvae responsible for most of the damage to this plant. On average, 18 larvae and 10 adult beetles per 10 plants were recorded. By the end of August and first fortnight of September, adult numbers increased (22 beetles/10 plants) and larvae decreased (5 grubs/10 plants).

Acknowledgment
The authors thank Dr. S.K. Gautam, senior agronomist, CSKHPKV, Palampur, H.P. (India), for the identification of weeds.

References
Chaudhary A, Indira Dogra, Sharma PK, Kaul BK. 2002. Record of some new alternate hosts of rice hispa, Dicladispa armigera Olivier, from Himachal Pradesh (India). J. Entomol. Res. 26(2):183-184. Dale D. 1994. Insect pests of rice plants: their biology and ecology. In: Biology and management of rice insects (Heinrichs EA, ed.). Wiley Eastern Limited & New Age International Limited, New Delhi. p 363-486. Dhaliwal GS. 1979. Some new weed hosts of rice hispa recorded in India. Int. Rice Res. Newsl. 4(2):19. Sharma PK, Upmanyu S, Srivastava A, Rana SK. 2010. Scenario of insect pests and diseases of paddy in Himachal Pradesh. In: Abstracts of National Symposium on perspectives and challenges of IPM for sustainable agriculture, 19-21 November 2010, University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India. 254 p.

2011

International Rice Research Notes (0117-4185)