Agalope javana: Threat for Ghingaru (Pyracantha crenulata), An Economically Important Himalayan Medicinal Plant


Ghingaru also known as Indian Hawthorn (Pyracantha crenulata) is an economically important wild edible, medicinal shrub of Rosaceae family endemic to temperate Himalaya. Fruits of the plant have cardiotonic properties and useful in myocardial weakness and hypertension. Ghingaru plant being hardy, no major insect pests and disease are reported to cause economic damage till recently. However, during the month of July 2016 and in subsequent years, heavy infestation by larvae of an insect pest taxonomically identified as Agalope javana was observed in the border district of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand. The larvae voraciously fed initially on leaves and then on fruits leading to complete loss of foliage and fruits from the infested plants. The larvae were reared inside laboratory to study complete life cycle of the insect. Review of published scientific literature suggests that the present correspondence is the first report on infestation by the insect larvae on Ghingaru and other plants in Western Himalaya. It is necessary to investigate the reasons for the insect pest outbreak on the economically important medicinal plant. Further integrated pest management system needs to be developed for sustainable management of the insect.

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Authors thank Dr. Sudhir Singh, Scientist, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, for taxonomic identification of the insect species. Authors are grateful to Defence Research & Development Organisation, New Delhi, for the financial support.

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Correspondence to Vikas Yadav Patade.

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Patade, V.Y., Singh, N. & Bala, M. Agalope javana: Threat for Ghingaru (Pyracantha crenulata), An Economically Important Himalayan Medicinal Plant. Natl. Acad. Sci. Lett. 44, 67–69 (2021).

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  • Ghingaru
  • Himalaya
  • Medicinal Plant
  • Insect Pest