Looper Caterpillar Invasion in North East Indian Tea Agro-Ecosystem: Change of Weather and Habitat Loss May be Possible Causes?  

Binu Antony1 , Palatty Allesh Sinu2 , Azizul Rehman1
1 Department of Entomology, Tea Research Association, Tocklai Experimental station, Jorhat 785 008, Assam state, India
2 Plant Protection Department, Nagrakata Regional R&D Station, Tea Research Association, Nagrakata, Jalpaiguri, Pin 735 225, West Bengal, India
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Tea Science Research, 2012, Vol. 2, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/jtsr.2012.02.0001
Received: 18 Sep., 2012    Accepted: 20 Sep., 2012    Published: 26 Sep., 2012
© 2012 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Antony et al., 2012, Looper Caterpillar Invasion in North East Indian Tea Agro-Ecosystem: Change of Weather and Habitat Loss May be Possible Causes? Journal of Tea Science Research, Vol.2, No.1 1-5 (doi: 10.5376/jtsr.2012.02.0001)

Abstract

Tea industry in India hit a record loss of tea production in 2009-11 due to widespread attack of tea defoliators, looper caterpillar pests of geometrid moths (Lepidoptera) in major tea growing eco-belt of Assam and West Bengal states. This geometrid pest complex has at least four sister species, two each of Biston and Hyposidra; and a mixed brood of Ectropis sp. The former one was reported as a pest of tea in India since 1911, and later one reported from China and introduced to India; but Hyposidra is a novel tea pest globally, reported recently and that too first from northeast India. Through this article, we attempt to portray the severity of looper outbreak and raised two key questions; viz., present looper outbreak as an indication of climate change in north-east India? and habitat loss may be the fundamental reason for the primary invasion of looper?

Keywords
Tea;Looper caterpillar;Biston; Hyposidra; Ectropis; Climate-change
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