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Rice Hispa

Rice Hispa

Dicladispa armigera


In a Nutshell

    White, parallel streaks or patches along the main axis of leavesLarvae bore mines into the internal leaf tissues, also producing irregular white patchesTunnels and larvae are visible when leaves are held against light

Hosts: %1$s

· Rice


Adult beetles feed externally on the upper epidermis, causing a characteristic pattern of white, parallel streaks along the main axis of the leaf. In case of severe infestation, even the veins can be affected, leading to the appearance of large, white blotches. Adults are often present on the damaged leaves, generally on the upper side. The larvae feed on the green tissue between the two epidermis of the leaves, tunneling along the veins and causing white patches. They can be detected by holding the damaged leaf against light or by passing the fingers along the tunnel. Infested leaves dry up, and present a white appearance in the field. From a distance, severely damaged fields look burnt.


Damage is caused by the adults and larvae of the rice hispa, Dicladispa armigera. Adult beetles scrapes the upper surface of leaf blades leaving only the lower epidermis. Eggs are laid inside minute slits on the tender leaves, generally toward the tip. The grub is whitish yellow and flattened. It feeds inside the leaf tissue by mining along the leaf axis, and subsequently pupates internally. The adult beetle is somewhat square-shaped, about 3-5 mm in length and width. it is dark blue or blackish in color with spines all over the body. Grassy weeds, heavy fertilization, heavy rains and high relative humidity favor rice hispa infestation.

Biological Control

The biological control of this pest is still under study. The larval parasitoid, Eulophus femoralis, has been introduced in Bangladesh and India and may reduce the hispa problem in these areas. The conservation of indigenous natural enemies may also play an important role in the management of this pest. For example, there are small wasps that attack the eggs and larvae and a reduviid bug that eats on the adults. There are also three fungal pathogens that attack the adults.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. In cases of severe infestation, several chemical formulations containing the following active ingredients could be used to control populations: carbofuran, chlorpyriphos, malathion, triazophos, methyl parathion, fenitrothion, diazinon, fenthoate, monocrotophos, phasalone, endosalfon, and quinolphos.

Preventive Measures

    No effective resistance trait to this pest is available in riceUse narrower plant spacing with greater leaf densities that can tolerate higher hispa numbersGrow crops early in the season to avoid peak populationsCut the shoot tip to prevent egg layingRemove any kind of weed from the rice field during the crop-free seasonInfested leaves and shoots should be clipped and burned, or deep buried in the mudApply a crop rotation to break the life cycle of the pestAvoid excessive nitrogen fertilization in infested fieldsCollect adult bugs with a sweeping net, preferably early in the morning when they are less mobile