Cucumber moth, Diaphania indica

Diaphania indica, Cucumber moth is one of the serious pests of plant under cucubitaceae.

It is also known as cotton caterpillar, pumpkin caterpillar. It infests cumber, melon, gherkin, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, snake gourd, Luffa, little cucumber, cotton etc. It is reported in other families, Leguminosae and Malvaceae. The synonyms are Botys hyalinalis, Eudioptis capensis, Glyphodes indica, Hedylepta indica, Margaronia indica, Palpita indica,Phacellura indica, Phakellura curcubitalis, Phakellura gazorialis, Phakellura zygaenalis. It is distributed in India, China, Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, sub-Saharan Africa, USA (Florida) and Northern Territory of Australia.

Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure, traps and complete monitoring systems for Diaphania indica, Cucumber Moth. Pheromone trap data give early warning of the infestation and also will alert the user to low level of populations before they become serious.


Shashpa, (2004) reported that the pre-oviposition, oviposition and post-oviposition periods of Diaphania indica averaged 2.0, 5.1 and 1.5 days, respectively. A female laid an average of 187.1 eggs. The average egg, larval, prepupal and pupal stages lasted for 4.75, 11.9, 1.3 and 9.4 days, respectively. The female to male sex ratio was 1.08:1. The longevity of adults varied from 8.45 to 9.0 days. The mean developmental period from oviposition to adult emergence ranged from 23 to 33 days with an average of 27.35 days.

Nature of Damage

IThe young larvae fed on chlorophyll and skeletonized the leaves of cucurbits, while the older larvae folded and webbed together the leaves and fed within. The young and older larvae were also observed feeding on flowers and boring into ovaries, new tender shoots and young and developing as well as mature fruits in the case of little gourd and bitter gourd. Observations showed that the damage to the fruit was 90% in little gourd and 60% in bitter gourd. In the case of pointed gourd, the damage by the larvae was restricted to leaves only and it was 25-30%. Common mynah (Acridotheres tristis) and cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) were found predating on larvae of Diaphania Indica(Jhala, et al., 2004).


Russell IPM manufactures and supplies pheromone lure – the Qlure, traps and complete monitoring systems for Diaphania indica, Cucumber Moth.

Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and will also alert the user to a low level of population before it becomes serious.

The lure can be best applied with the Mothcatcher trap or Delta trap.