All about Jowar Shoot Fly

Jowar Shoot Fly

Jowar Shoot Fly

Scientific Name: Atherigona soccata Rond.

Class & Order: Anthomyidae – Diptera

Economic Importance: It is one of the serious pests of sorghum in India. The Pest attacks the crop only in early stage of growth and infestation goes up to 80%. The high yielding hybrids are more susceptible to the attack of this fly. The total loss in yield is sometimes as high as 60%. The pest is very serious on kharif and Rabi crops in Maharashtra State.

Marks of Identification: Adult fly is dark grey, like the common house fly but much smaller in size, 6 & 4 dark spots on abdominal segments of female & male respectively (arranged in rows of two) Maggot are legless, tapering towards head, pale yellow, small ( 10- 12 mm in length ).

Host plants: Jowar and grasses like Andropogan sorghum, Cynodon dactylon and Panicum spp.

Life history:

Eggs: Eggs are average 40 eggs are laid by a female singly on lower surface of leaves & tender stem. Incubation period is of 2-3 days.

Larva: larval period 10 to 12 days. Four larval instars are present.

Pupa: Pupation in stem. Pupal period is about a week. Adult longevity is 12-1 4 days. Life cycle completes in 2-3 weeks. Several generations in a year. Carry over -The pest over winters in adult stage on grasses.

Seasonal occurrence: The insect attacks the seedlings and late sown crops are attacked badly. The attack is severe during July to October. Cloudy weather favours multiplication of the insect. In rabi, early sown crop suffers more and hence sowing should be delayed possibly

Nature of Damage: Maggots on hatching from the eggs bore into the central shoots of seedlings and kill the growing point, producing “dead hearts”. They feed on the decaying core of the shoots. Subsequently on death of central shoot, plant gives out tillers and plant gets bushy appearance.

Management Practices:

Sow the crop as early as possible i.e. immediately after the onset of rains or within 15 days after receiving of rains. Increase the seed rate to make up the loss.
Use the seeds treated with carbofuran 50 SP @ 5% a.i. by wt. of seed (Gum Arabic as sticker) or carbosulfan 25 STD @ 200 gm / kg of seed OR 3% carbofuran granuals @ 5 kgs /50 kgs of seed by using slurry of wheat flour as sticker.


Application of phorate 10 gm @ 10 Kg / ha in soil at sowing OR Spray the crop with 0.05% endosulfan soon as 10% seedlings are infested or 1 egg / 10seedlings are noticed.

Removal and destruction of affected shoots along with the larvae.

Use resistant (Maldandi 35-1) or less susceptible varieties like R.S. V.9 R (Swati), S.P. V86 for planting.

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