Lac Insect Bionomics Its Natural Enemies and Lac Production

Lacca Kerr of Kerria. The most famous commercially important Indian lac insect. The two strains of Kerria lacca are Rangeeni and kusmi, both of which produce two crops a year (bi-voltine). The lake insect belongs to the class Homoptera, to the Tachardiidae (Kerridae) family and to the Coccoidea superfamily. The structure and habit of the young male lac insect therefore varies considerably from its adult stage. The length of the different phases depends on the insect strain, crop season, host tree species and location. The sex-ratio of lac insects for male and female depends primarily on the lac crop and its season. After long periods of time that vary from crop to crop, the fertilised female lac prepares itself for oviposition (egg laying) within the lac cell. The lac insect demonstrates ovo-viviparity, i.e. it lays eggs, and the young larvae remain inside the resinous lac cell after hatching. The main insect-predators are Chrysopa spp and two lepidopterans, Pseudohypatopa pulvera and Eublemma amibilis. In addition, the main parasitoids are Tachardiaephagus tachardae, Coccophagus tschirchii, Aprostocetus purpureus, Eupelmus tachardiae, Parechthrodryinus clavicornis spp. The main activities for lac cultivation are pruning of trees, lac insect inoculation, phunki elimination, cultivation treatment and harvesting of mature lac crop.

Author(s) Details

Dr. Lily Saroj Nathan
Ewing Christian College, Prayagraj (U.P.), India.

Dr. Priyanka Vini Lall
Ewing Christian College, Prayagraj (U.P.), India.

Dr. A. K. Jaiswal
ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow (U.P.), India.

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