What is Pink Ballworm?

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What is Pink Ballworm? Blog Image


Pink bollworm – responsible for damaging nearly 4 lakh acres of cotton in 2021 – has been recently observed in certain fields within Bathinda and Mansa districts of Punjab.

About Pink Ballworm:

  • It is one of the most destructive pests of cotton.
  • Scientific name: Pectinophora gossypiella
  • Distribution: Originally native to India, it is now recorded in nearly all the cotton-growing countries of the world.
  • Description:
    • The adults are small moths about 3/8 inch long and are dark brown with markings on the fore wing.
    • The larval stage is the destructive and identifiable stage.
    • The larvae have distinctive pink bands and can reach a length of ½ inches right before they pupate.
  • Ecological Threat:
    • Pink bollworms are major pests of cotton. 
    • Adults only last for 2 weeks, but females will lay 200 or more eggs.
    • Adults lay eggs on cotton bolls; once hatched, the larvae eat the seeds and damage the fibers of the cotton, reducing the yield and quality.
    • When the larvae mature, they cut out the boll and drop to the ground and cocoon near the soil surface. ]
    • It has also been observed to attack hibiscus, okra, and hollyhock plants.


Q1) What is Pectinophora?

Pectinophora is a genus of moths in the family Gelechiidae. Perhaps the best known species is the pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders). P. gossypiella is one of the world's most destructive insect pests that causes terrible damage to cotton balls.

Source: Deadly pink bollworm creeps into Bathinda, Mansa fields; experts recommend sprays