Why cardamom farmers welcome these frog species endemic to the Western Ghats

The bush frog, or Raorchestes ponmudi, eats up moths identified to destroy cardamom’s pseudo-stem, a significant menace confronted by farmers

A frog species endemic to the Western Ghats has been recognized as cardamom-friendly, killing moths which might be identified to destroy cardamom’s pseudo-stem, a significant menace confronted by farmers.

The bush frog, or Raorchestes ponmudi eats up the shoot borer Conogethes punctiferalis that enters by way of immature panicles and assaults the shoots and stems, thus destroying cardamom vegetation, usually in a large-scale. The bush frog is broadly present in the Ponmudi space of the Western Ghats and is acquainted to cardamom planters.

Unlike different frog species, the bush frog’s life cycle is completely completely different, and water sources aren’t primarily wanted for the development of its eggs.

Effect of pesticides

A.Ok. Vijayan, scientist and former head of crop safety, Indian Cardamom Research Institute, instructed The Hindu on Tuesday that the bush frog is, nevertheless, fairly absent in cardamom plantations the place extremely poisonous pesticides are sprayed.

An grownup moth lays about 20 to 35 eggs on cardamom leaf margins, leaf axils, panicles and racemes. The eggs hatch inside 5 to six days. Emerging larvae bore into tender panicles, unopened leaves or immature capsules. At a later stage, the larvae bore into the shoots and feed on the central core of the pseudo-stem, leading to decaying. The caterpillars of this insect bore and feed on flower buds, flowers and capsules. The pest assaults are notably excessive from June to September, factors out Dr. Vijayan.

Studies have discovered that every larva feeds about 25 to 27 capsules to attain maturity. Its life cycle is accomplished inside 38-45 days. The grownup moth is orange/yellow in color and is 22-24 mm lengthy with a lot of black dots on its wings.

The bush frog can also be widespread in the CHR (Cardamom Hill Reserve) areas of Udumbanchola and Peerumade in Idukki district. Farmers in these areas have reported its presence on cardamom vegetation, the place the species are sometimes noticed at night time when it comes out for feeding on the moths. However, aggressive pesticide utility is a menace to the bush frog, mentioned Dr. Vijayan.

Giji Ok. Raman , 2021-10-26 18:12:26

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