Hyblaea puera (Cramer, 1777) [Lepidoptera : Hyblaeidae] Infestation on Avicennia alba Blume in Sunderban Biosphere Reserve, West Bengal, India
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A survey on lepidopteran pests of mangrove was conducted in different Islands of Sunderban Biosphere Reserve within the district of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India, over a period of 4 years (2012–2016). During the survey, a severe lepidopteran infestation was observed on the Avicennia alba Blume, which is one of the major mangrove species of Sunderbans. The life history of the lepidopteran species was studied in field as well as in laboratory conditions. The adults were identified as Hyblaea puera (Cramer, 1777) (Lepidoptera : Hyblaeidae) which is being reported for the first time from the Indian part of Sunderbans. The study revealed that the Hyblaea puera (Cramer, 1777) completed its life cycle in 21–25 days in both laboratory and field conditions. The biology and ecology of the said species and the nature of damage caused to the mangroves by these moths are discussed.
KeywordsHyblaea puera Avicennia alba Pest Sunderban Biosphere Reserve
Authors are grateful to Dr. Kailash Chandra, Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata for giving necessary permissions to carry out the work and encouragement. Authors are also thankful to Dr. K. C. Gopi, Additional Director, Zoological Survey of India for constant support, help and guidance. Thanks are also due to the funding agency, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, for financial assistance. Authors are also grateful to Dr. K. Venkataraman, Former Director, Zoological Survey of India and Former Principal Investigator of Sunderban Insect Pollinator Project for constant help and encouragement. Special thanks are to be mentioned for Dr. Nilendu Jyoti Maitra for giving permissions in rearing of the materials in Plant Protection laboratory of Ramakrishna Ashrama Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nimpith. Thanks are also due to Mr. R.K. Mahatolia, Director, Sunderban Biosphere Reserve; Mr. Rajeev Sharma, Joint Director, Sunderban Biosphere Reserve and Mrs Tripti Sah, DFO, South 24 parganas for their inspiration and giving necessary permissions to carry out the study.
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