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The grasshopper which was found on the hillside of a village in Manipur’s Thoubal district on July 21 has been identified as spotted grasshopper, according to experts of Central Agricultural University in Imphal.

The identification same after the samples of the grasshoppers were collected through farmers.

However CAU experts expressed the need to take up precautionary measures so that it does not spread to other places.

On July 21, Haobam Meghachandra, a resident of Yairipok Khoirom spotted the grasshopper when he visited hillside of Garok hill of the village.

Without delay, he uploaded a very brief video clip of the grasshopper in the social media which draws the attention of the general public.

Initially spotting of the grasshopper prior to identifying the species has triggered fear among the villagers that whether the insect will attack their paddy fields or not as there are media report on locust attack in other parts of the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acknowledging the report of spotting the congregation of around 500 to I000 nymphal-stage of grasshopper on the hill side of Garok Hill at Yairipok Khoirom Leikai in Thoubal District, the state Agriculture department in a press notification on July 22 said, the District Agriculture Officer, Thoubal and his team visited the village and handed over the Bio-pesticide Beuveria bassiana as recommended by ICAR and Deputy Director (E), Centre Integrated Pest Management Centre, Imphal.

Stating that the nymphal stage of grasshopper was feeding on the leave of wild plants, it said this pest damaging cultivated crops is uncommon. Nature of damage and their habitat from bushes and grasses to cultivated crops needs to be observed critically.

“If they become more aggressive and start attacking on cultivated crops ICAR recommends application of Beuveria bassiana or Metarrhizium anisoplae at the rate of 5 ml per liter of water,” it said. “If the pest attacks on cultivated, crop reach Economic Threshold Level (ETL) Phosalone 35 EC at the rate of 2 ml per liter water can be applied.”

A scientist of ICAR Manipur centre opined that such grasshopper emerges where there is good rainfall and greenery adding the insects are biological indicators of health of the ecosystem.

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