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Rice Insect Pests

Common Name Scientific Name Insect Nature of

Order Damage
Yellow Stem borer Scirpophaga Lepidoptera 1. It is a major pest
incertulas of rice and is very
serious in double
cropped areas.

2. The caterpillar
bores into the stem
and feeds
internally causing
death of the
central shoot. This
is called “dead –

3. If crop is
attacked during
reproductive phase
the damaged
plants bears empty
white ears locally
called “palinj.”
The dead hearts
and white ears
come out easily
when pulled out.

White Stem borer Scirpophaga Lepidoptera 1. The larvae of

innotata the borers enter
the tiller, feed,
grow and cause
the characteristic
symptoms of ‘dead
hearts’ or ‘white
ears’ depending on
the crop stage.

2. At tillering
stage, the feeding
frequently results
in severing the
apical parts of the
plant from the

3. The central leaf

whorl does not
unfold, turns
brownish and dries
out although the
lower leaves
remain green and
healthy. This
condition is known
as ‘dead heart’.
Affected tillers dry
out without
bearing panicles.

4. During panicle
exertion, severing
of growing part
from the base
results in the
drying out of
panicles. Panicles
may not emerge
out at all and those
that have already
emerged do not
produce grain.

5. The empty
panicles are very
conspicuous in
field as they
remain straight
and whitish.

Pink Stemborer Sesamia inferens Lepidoptera The damage to the

wheat crop is
mainly caused by
the caterpillars.
The caterpillars
bores into the stem
and feed upon the
tissues of the
central shoot. The
infected plant
produces ‘dead
hert’ or ‘white ear
Dark-Headed Stemborer Chilo polychrysus Lepidoptera  Caterpillars bore
into the central
shoot of seedlings
and tillers leading
to death of central
 Caterpillars bore
at the base of
earhead and cause
chaffy earheads

Green Leafhoppers Cicadellidae Hemiptera Both nymphs and

adults suck the
plant sap from the
leaf and leaf
sheath. (It is a
phloem feeder.
Amino acid
content is high in
phloem sap than

Zigzag Leafhoppers Recilia dorsalis Hemiptera Feeding damage of

zigzag leaf hopper
causes the leaf tips
to dry up,
and whole leaves
to become orange
and curled.

Brown Planthoppers Nilaparvata lugens Hemiptera Both the nymphs

and adults remain
at the ground level
and suck the plant
sap. It is a typical
vascular feeder
primarily sucking
phloem sap
leading to hopper

Whitebacked Planthoppers Sogatella furcifera Hemiptera  White backed

plant hopper is
more abundant
during the early
stage of the
growth of rice
crop, especially in
nurseries. Rice is
more sensitive to
attack at the
tillering phase than
at the boot and
heading stages.
 Damage is caused
through feeding
and oviposition.
 Gravid females
punctures in leaf
 Both nymphs and
adults suck
phloem sap
causing reduced
vigour, stunting,
yellowing of
leaves and delayed
tillering and grain

Rice Black Bugs Scotinophara Hemiptera Black bugs

coarctata remove the sap of
the plant. They
can cause
browning of
leaves, deadheart,
and bugburn.
Their damage also
causes stunting in
plants, reduced
tiller number, and
formation of
Rice Bugs Leptocorisa acuta Hemiptera Rice bugs damage
rice by sucking out
the contents of
developing grains
from pre-lowering
spikelets to soft
dough stage,
therefore causing
unfilled or empty
grains and discolo-
ration. Immature
and adult rice bugs
both feed on rice
Rice Weevils Sitophilus oryzae Coleoptera Adults feed on
whole seeds or

Larvae develop in
seeds or pieces of
seeds or cereal
products large
enough to house
larvae but will not
develop in flour
unless it has been

contributes to
heating and
infested grain is
often damp due to
moisture added
by the insects’