Community based bio control of coconut black headed caterpillar
The leaf eating black headed caterpillar, Opisina arenosella is a serious pest of coconut palm causing significant yield loss in all the coconut growing tracts of India. It infests coconut of all age groups and is a prolific feeder of coconut leaves. On the adult palms, the infestation starts on the outer whorls of leaves and due to the feeding damage the photosynthetic efficiency especially of the lower fronds will be impaired and in severe cases, whole plantation presents a burnt up appearance due to the drying of leaves. In case of severe out breaks the attacked leaves droop, bunches buckle and the immature nuts are shed heavily, in extreme cases feeding by the caterpillar on the green nut surface is also observed.