Insect Pests of Bananas and Plantains in India

This photo album features the photos of insect pests of bananas and plantains in India, their symptoms of damage and natural enemies and enables field identification of common banana pests.

Pseudostem weevil, Odoiporus longicollis

Pseudostem weevil is one of the most destructive pests of banana in India and many other parts of the world.

63 images

Corm weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus

Corm weevil, also known as rhizome weevil, is a major pest of bananas with a near cosmopolitan distribution.

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Small banana weevil, Polytus mellerborgii

Small banana weevil is a minor pest of banana in the Indo-Malayan region. It looks like a miniature rhizome weevil and bores into the decaying rhizome and stalks of banana.

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Banana fruit and leaf scarring beetles, Basilepta spp.

Fruit and leaf scarring beetles (Basilepta spp.) are major pests in north and northeastern India and Bangladesh and affect the cosmetic appearance and market value of fruits.

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Banana lacewing bug, Stephanitis typica

Banana lacewing bugs are found allover India and cause characteristic stippling of infested leaves. They are serious pests in summer months.

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Banana flower thrips, Thrips hawaiiensis

Flower thrips infest the flowers and young fruits and affected fruits are scarred with reduced market value.

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Banana leaf thrips, Helionothrips kadaliphilus

Leaf thrips are common pests of banana and occasionally also cause fruit damage.

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Banana silvering thrips, Hercinothrips bicinctus

Silvering thrips externally look like Helionothrips kadaliphilus and causes similar damage to leaves, but much less common in South India.

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Asprothrips navsariensis

Asprothrips navsariensis is a minor pest of banana leaves. It is known from India (Gujarat and Tamil Nadu) and Indonesia (Bogor). Though occasionally large populations are seen, economic damage is negligible.

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Banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa

Banana aphids transmit the dreaded bunchy top of banana virus and are a serious threat to cultivation of traditional varieties like hill banana.

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Banana scale, Aspidiotus destructor

Banana scales have a wide distribution in all banana growing regions and rarely cause major economic damage as they are kept under check by natural enemies.

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Oriental yellow scale, Aonidiella orientalis

It is one of the common diaspidid scales infesting banana, but rarely serious.

13 images

Scale, Hemiberlesia sp.

Hemiberlesia spp. are common pests of banana and kept under check by many natural enemies.

16 images

Scale, Lindingaspis misrae

This is a minor pest of banana in Tamil Nadu during dry periods.

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Oyster scale, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli

Oyster scales are minor pests of bananas and plantains and usually do not warrant any control measures.

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Root mealybug, Geococcus sp. nr. johorensis

Root mealybugs are serious on some cultivars of banana in South India and cause major damage.

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Root mealybug, Rhizoecus sp.

Root mealybugs belonging to Rhizoecus spp. are commonly found on banana, but much less damaging than Geococcus spp.

11 images

Solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis

Solenopsis mealybug has a wide host range and is found on several plants, including banana.

19 images

Tailed mealybug, Ferrisia virgata

Tailed mealybug is a highly polyphagous pest on several hosts including banana and affects both foliage and fruits.

21 images

Pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus

The pink hibiscus mealybug, a highly polyphagous pest, is commonly found infesting banana fruits in South India.

14 images

Jack Beardsley Mealybug, Pseudococcus jackbeardsleyi

The Jack Beardsley mealybug is an invasive species recently reported from South India and it has become a common but minor pest of banana fruits.

22 images

Fruit mealybug, Rastrococcus iceryoides

Rastrococcus iceryoides is a major pest of banana bunches in some cultivars

17 images

Pink pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes

Dysmicoccus brevipes is a common pest of banana and is usually found on natural cavities and roots.

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Grey pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus neobrevipes

This is an emerging pest of banana bunches in some parts of South India.

11 images

Black scale, Saissetia nigra

Black scales are occasional pests on leaves and sometimes even fruits during summer.

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Nigra scale, Parasaissetia nigra

This is a minor pest of banana commonly found in small numbers on the leaf around the petiole.

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Coccus hesperidum

Brown soft scale, Coccus hesperidum, is commonly found on banana foliage, but in very few numbers and does not cause economic damage

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Wax scale, Ceroplastes sp.

Wax scales are commonly seen on banana, but rarely reach damage causing levels.

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Banana whitefly, Aleurolobus musae

Banana whitefly is a very common but economically unimportant pest.

16 images

Spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus

Spiralling whitefly is an introduced pest in India with a wide range of host plants including banana and occasionally serious.

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Rugose spiralling whitefly, Aleurodicus rugioperculatus

Rugost spiralling whitefly, a recent invasive pest in South India, has many hosts, but banana and coconut are its most preferred host plants.

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Whitefly, Aleurocanthus sp

Whitefly, Aleurocanthus sp., is a minor pest of banana leaves.

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Banana mirid bug, Prodromus clypeatus

Prodromus clypeatus is endemic to some parts of Kerala and South India and causes damage symptoms on leaves similar to lacewing bugs.

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Leaf caterpillar, Spodoptera litura

Spodoptera litura, the leaf caterpillar, has several host plants and is a major pest of bananas in all banana growing areas.

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Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda

Fall armyworm is primarily a pest of maize and sorghum and polyphagous on several host plants including banana

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Banana skipper, Erionota torus

Erionota torus, the banana skipper, until recently restricted to the northern and northeastern parts, has emerged as a serious pest in peninsular India.

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Banana bagworm, Kophene cuprea

Kophene cuprea is one of the most common pests of banana and the damage is common and usually confined to isolated patches.

39 images

Hairy caterpillar, Olepa ricini

Olepa ricini is one of the most common pests of banana foliage and feeds on a variety of host plants.

19 images

Hairy caterpillar, Olene mendosa

Olene mendosa is a common pest of banana foliage and its infestation is usually confined to localized patches.

13 images

Hairy caterpillar, Somena scintillans

Somena scintillans is one of the many hairy caterpillars feeding on banana fruit and foliage and occasionally causes serious economic damage.

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Hairy caterpillar, Euproctis fraterna

Euproctis fraterna is one of many hairy caterpillars feeding on banana fruit and foliage and occasionally causes serious economic damage.

11 images

Hairy caterpillar, Amata passalis

This is a common hairy caterpillar on banana foliage and causes skeletonization and drying of leaves.

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Chrysodeixis chalcites

Chrysodeixis chalcites is an occasional pest of banana leaves

6 images

Banana slug caterpillar, Miresa decedens

This is an endemic, occasionally serious pest in Kerala. The damage symptoms are similar to those caused by other lepidopteran pests.

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Slug caterpillars, Spatulifimbria spp

Larvae of Spatulifimbria spp. are occasionally found feeding on banana leaves.

16 images

Fruit flies

Fruit flies are economically less important on banana as the flies do not prefer to lay eggs on green bananas.

16 images

Fruit spotting bug, Physomerus grossipes

Fruit spotting bugs are sporadic pests of banana fruit in Maharashtra.

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Spider mite, Oligonychus indicus

Spider mite, Oligonychus indicus, a polyphagous pest, is serious on banana during summer and the symptom of damage is characteristic.

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Red spider mites, Tetranychus spp

Spider mites are serious pests of banana foliage during summer

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Oriental red mite, Eutetranychus orientalis

Oriental red mite is a minor but occasionally serious pest of banana foliage during summer.

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Red mite, Raoiella indica

Raoiella indica, a polyphagous mite pest, is a serious problem during summer months on banana and has many natural enemies.

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Minor pests

Minor pests like chafer beetles and weevils are common on bananas and plantains and seldom require any control measures.

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Cerambycid beetle, Sybra praeusta

This a minor and sporadic pest of bananas in Tamil Nadu and the larvae bore into the leaf sheaths and cause yellowing and drying of outer leaves.

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Cerambycid beetle, Ropica signata

Immature stages and adults of this cerambycid beetle are found inside the leaf sheath and outer layers of pseudostem of old plants of banana.

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Cercopid, Phymatostetha deschampsi

Phymatosetha deschampsi is a minor sucking pest on banana foliage in Kerala and some other parts of South India.

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Rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros

Adults of rhinoceros beetle, a major pest of coconut and other palms, sometimes feed on banana stem and fruits.

6 images

Neorthacris sp

Grasshopper, Neorthacris sp. is common in banana ecosystem and occasionally causes damage by feeding on the foliage.

14 images