A Comprehensive Review of Insect Pest Management in Muga Silkworm (Antheraea assamensis Helfer): Current Scenario and Future Prospects

Abhishek Singh *

P-3 Unit, Muga Eri Silkworm Seed Organization, CSB, Nongpoh, Meghalaya, India.

Vikram Kumar

P-3 Unit, Muga Eri Silkworm Seed Organization, CSB, Rompara, Meghalaya, India.

M. Majumdar

P-4 Unit, Muga Eri Silkworm Seed Organization, CSB, Mendipathar, Meghalaya, India.

Lopamudra Guha

Muga Eri Silkworm Seed Organization, CSB, Guwahati, Assam, India.

Kartik Neog

Muga Eri Silkworm Seed Organization, Guwahati, Assam, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Muga silkworm (Antheraea assamensis Helfer), renowned for its natural production of prized golden silk, is native to Assam and adjacent regions in North-Eastern India. However, outdoor rearing of Muga silkworms exposes them to environmental fluctuations year-round, resulting in significant crop losses due to insect pests. Notably, pre-seed crops (Aherua and Jarua) and seed crops (Chotua and Bhodia) experience significantly higher losses compare to commercial crops (Jethua and Kotia). This paper presents a thorough analysis of insect pests impacting Muga silkworm rearing, classified according to activity periods and intensity of attacks. Primary insect pests include Exorista sorbillans (Uzi fly), Apanteles glomeratus (Brachonid fly), ants and wasps. Uzi fly inflicts damage during winter (November to February), primarily affecting 4th and 5th instar Muga larvae, leading to substantial losses during cocoon harvest in March-April, jeopardizing seed production for subsequent Jethua (April-May) commercial crops. Apanteles glomeratus and ants pose threats during summer. Vespa orientalis (wasp) causes damage to late instars from April to September. Chemical control methods are discouraged due to their adverse effects on silkworms. Therefore, urgent research into environmentally sustainable pest management strategies tailored to Muga rearing's specific needs and limitations are warranted. This review synthesizes detailed descriptions of identified pests, challenges in insect pest management, and discusses various mitigation strategies, offering insights into the biology of major insect pests affecting Muga silkworms and evaluating the effectiveness of different pest management approaches.

Keywords: Muga silkworm, insect pests, integrated pest management


How to Cite

Singh, A., Kumar, V., Majumdar, M., Guha, L., & Neog, K. (2024). A Comprehensive Review of Insect Pest Management in Muga Silkworm (Antheraea assamensis Helfer): Current Scenario and Future Prospects. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, 46(5), 47–55. https://doi.org/10.9734/jeai/2024/v46i52355

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