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.


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


Download data is not yet available.


Sarkar BN, Singh A, Guha L, Majumdar M, Hridya H. Morphological Variation of Antheraea assamensis Helfer upon Semi-domestication: A study on rearing, Disease incidence and seed production performance. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International. 2023;45(5): 24-32.

Srilaxmi K, Paul R. Diversity of Insect pest of pigeonpea (Cajanus Cajan L. Mill Sp.) and their succession in relation to crop phenology in Gulbarga, Karnataka. The Ecosan. 2010;4(4):273-276.

Singh RN, Thangavelu K, Mishra PK, Jayaswal J. Reproductive strategy and sex ratio of stink bug Psix striaticeps (Dodd) (Hymenoptera: Seclionidae) parasitoid in tasar ecosystem. Ent Germany. 1992;6:151-155.

Kumar V, Singh A, Indirakumar K, Majumdar M, Guha L. Effect of different host plants on rearing and grainage activity on muga silkworm (Antheraea assamensis). International Journal of Agriculture Sciences. 2022;14(8):11559-11562.

Chaudhuri SN. Muga silk industry. Directorate of sericulture and weaving, Govt. of Assam, Guwahati, India; 1981.

Thangavelu K, Sahu AK. Some studies on the bionomics of Exorista sorbillans Nied from North Eastern India. Sericologia. 1986;26:77-82.

Singh PK, Das PK. Some records of Pests and Predators of Primary Muga Food Plants and Muga Silk Worms (Antheraea assamensis Ww.) in Assam. Sericologia. 1996;36(4):763-765.

Subharani S, Jayaprakash P. Insect pests of Muga silkworm Antheraea assamensis. Global Journal of Biology, Agriculture & Health Sciences. 2015;4(2):130-134.

Singh A, Kumar V, Guha L, Hridya H, Indirakumar K, Majumdar M. Predisposing factors determining the rearing performance of muga silkworm (Antheraea assamensis Helfer): A review. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science. 2022;34(24):756-762.

Singh RN, Saratchandra B. Push pull strategies for pest management in sericulture. Indian Silk. 2008;47(7):4-6.

Baruah JP, Kalita C. Integrated pest management of uzi fly (Exorista sorbillans) in Muga silkworm Antheraea assamensis Helfer (Lepidoptera: saturniidae): A review. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. 2020;8(4):341-343.

Eswara Reddy SG. Integrated management of Uzi fly, Exorista bombycis (Louis) (Dip: Tachinidae) in muga silkworm, Antheraea assamensis Helfer (Lepi. Saturniidae) under outdoor rearing conditions of Assam (India). Munis Entomology & Zoology. 2011;6(20):1012-1013.

Majumdar M, Guha L, Kumar V, Das B, Borpuzari P. Ichneumon wasp Xanthopimpla pedator - a pupal parasitoid of Muga silkworm Antheraea assamensis. Int. J. Adv. Res. Biol. Sci. 2021;8(7):152-156.

Goswami NK, Nath P, Saharia D. Uzi fly infestation in Muga seed cocoons, Antheraea assamensis Hefler and crop loss during Chotua crop in Assam. Indian Journal of Applied Research. 2011;3(10):2249-5559.

Narayanaswamy KC, Devaiah MC. Silkworm Uzi fly. Zen publishers. No. 1489, 40th Cross, 4th ‘T’ Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore, Karnataka. 1998:232p.

Eswara Reddy SG. Integrated management of Uzi fly, Exorista bombycis (Louis) (Diptera: Tachinidae) in muga silkworm, antheraea assamensis hefler (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) under outdoor rearing conditions of Assam (India). Munis Entomology & Zoology. 2011;6(2):1012-1013.

Bindroo BB, Sahu AK, Chakravorty R. Muga culture in North-Eastern Region: Problems Prospects. Indian Silk. 2008;46(9): 16-20.

Chakrabaty R. Diversity of muga and eri sericulture and its prospects in Himalayan states. Proceedings of the national workshop on potential and strategies for sustainable development of vanya silks in the Himalayan states. 2004;9-16.

Singh PK, Das PK, Negi BK. Studies on the incidence of uzi fly. Annual Report. Regional Muga Research Station, Boko, Assam, India. 1993;7p.

Singh RN, Bajpeyi CM, Tikader A, Saratchandra B. Muga culture. Published by A.P.H. publishing Corporation; 2013.