Effective Management of Owlet Moth in coconut

Effective Management of Owlet Moth in coconut

Tender coconut tree full of coconut healthy coconut palm

In Asia, coconut is a widely accepted cash crop, but in India, cultivation is only obligated in humid tropical regions. Coconut cultivation and utility are not new to Indians as it has been mentioned multiple times in Vedic scriptures as Kalpavruksha. The hybrid or variety planted, the soil, the environment, and management practices are the key factors that affect the quality and quantity of coconuts harvested per palm. Coconut is frequently described as a small- and marginal farmers' crop. A wide range of insects and pests are known to attack the coconut plantation which will bring down the yield by 80 to 90 per cent.  There have also been instances where bad plant protection management has destroyed the entire plantation. The emergence of a novel pest or resurgence of old ones is often noticed in horticulture. Of late Owlet Moth, scientifically known as Cyclodes Omma insect is not a host-specific pest and its emergence is reported in a coconut plantation. You could learn more about the damage symptoms of the insect and prevention measures from this blog.

Healthy Coconut seedlings  Coconut dwarf variety

Pest identification

Cyclodes Omma (Owlet moth) belongs to the moth family consisting of popular pests like cutworms, earworms, pinworms and armyworms. This pest, also referred to as Nutborer or Singapore moths, naturally inhabits tropical nations like Thailand, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka. The moth is golden grey in colour with a black spot that resembles an eye on the forewing. The larva is hairy and ranges in colour from light to dark brown.

Owlet moth (Cyclodes Omma) Cyclodes omma (Owlet moth) larvae

Damage symptoms

When the young nut is still in the development stage, larvae attack the coconut crop borrow small holes and feed on the internal content. As the insect incidence increases empty inflorescence, borrowed nuts attached to it and nut shedding can be noticed. 

Owlet moth damaged young coconut Owlet moth larvae damaging premature coconut


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Technical Team Agriplex India