The Papilio demodocus, commonly known as the Orange dog, is a member of the Papilionidae family and primarily inhabits citrus growing areas. While it typically poses a minor threat to mature trees, it frequently inflicts severe damage on nurseries and young trees. These insect pests thrive particularly during rainy seasons. Additionally, it goes by alternative names such as Citrus Swallowtail, Citrus butterfly, or Christmas butterfly.
The female Orange dog deposits its eggs individually on the leaves of citrus trees, and these eggs typically hatch within a span of 4 to 6 days. After several days of feeding, the larvae secure themselves to branches using silk and enter the pupal stage, which lasts approximately 24 hours. Following this, the pupa develops for about 2 to 3 weeks until the adult Orange dog emerges.
Throughout the course of a year, the Orange dog undergoes approximately three generations.
- Eggs: The eggs of the Orange dog are approximately 1mm long, spherical in shape, and have a smooth outer shell. They possess a whitish coloration.
- Larvae: The juvenile Orange dogs exhibit a combination of black, yellow, and whitish colors, adorned with spikes. This color variation serves as an effective camouflage, resembling bird droppings. As the larvae mature, their appearance changes to green with white or pinkish markings and eyespots. Fully grown larvae measure around 45mm in length. When faced with threats from predators, the larvae employ their orange osmeteria, which are retractable “horns” that emit a potent odor, deterring potential attackers.
- Pupae: Orange dog pupae display a range of colors, ranging from yellowish-green to brown. They have a length of approximately 3cm and are enclosed within cocoons.
- Adults: The adult Orange dogs, known as butterflies, possess distinctive markings. They feature a combination of black and yellow patterns, complemented by blue and red eyespots. The forewings lack tails and are black, while the undersides exhibit a yellow coloration. These butterflies have a wingspan spanning approximately 100-160mm. Females are typically larger in size compared to males. Adult Orange dogs can often be found feeding on flower nectar.
Feeding & Damage
The larval phase of the Orange dog is particularly damaging. During this stage, the caterpillars voraciously consume the leaves of citrus plants, posing a significant threat to young trees and causing extensive damage to citrus nurseries. Even in mature trees, these caterpillars target the young and delicate leaves, leading to potential harm. Their feeding habits can result in complete defoliation of young trees and wreak havoc in citrus nurseries.
Management & Control
To mitigate the damages caused by the Orange dog pest, it is crucial to implement early control measures before reaching a threshold level. Various integrated methods are employed for its management, including:
Chemical Method: This approach utilizes insecticides that have proven effectiveness against the pest. The following insecticides are recommended:
- Kingcode Elite 50EC: 10ml per 20 liters of solution
- Pentagon 50EC: 10ml per 20 liters of solution
- Escort 19EC: 10ml per 20 liters of solution
- Lexus 247SC: 8ml per 20 liters of solution
- Profile 440EC: 30ml per 20 liters of solution
- Presento 200SP: 5g per 20 liters of solution
- Sinophate 750SP: 20g per 20 liters of solution
Biological Method: Biopesticides are utilized in this method. For instance, Baciguard 16000WDG is applied at a rate of 15g per 20 liters of solution. This biopesticide acts by multiplying bacteria strains on the Orange dog, effectively eliminating it.
- It is advisable to enhance the efficacy of the sprayed product by mixing it with Integra at a rate of 3ml per 20 liters of solution. Integra acts as a spreader, sticker, and penetrant.
- To prevent the development of pesticide resistance in the insects, it is recommended to alternate between different pesticides.
- Timely application of the pesticides is crucial for effective control.
Other Control Measures: These primarily involve cultural practices and include the following:
- Field sanitation
- Proper weed control
- Crop rotations with non-host plants
- Use of predators
Implementing these cultural practices alongside chemical and biological methods can further contribute to the control and management of the Orange dog pest.