Forest Health Forest Entomology

Forest Entomology

In Entomology Department, the thrust areas include monitoring of forest insect diversity, control of termites in plantations, wood damaging insects and teak defoliator, traditional methods of post-harvest protection of bamboo from insect borers, etc. The mass production technology of the biopesticide Hyblaea puera Nucleo Polyhedrosis Virus (HpNPV) has been standardized, and the application technology has been transferred to stakeholders. The concept of butterfly garden has been popularized and technical advice provided to various agencies for the establishment of butterfly parks.

Research programmes in the Department of Forest Entomology deal with following general issues in forestry and conservation.
  1. Evaluation of the present and potential insect pest problems relevant to forestry in Kerala.
  2. Development of suitable methods or procedures to reduce the economic loss caused by the pests,
  3. Study of the soil biology with special reference to the insect biota,
  4. Biological control of the insect pests.
In addition to this problem-solving research, some fundamental studies on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of insects are undertaken to increase our understanding of the interaction between insects and trees and the role of insects in the forest. Such understanding, apart from advancing the knowledge in Entomology, is often necessary for developing better and environmentally safe pest management strategies.

Research Highlights
  • Standardization of methods for control of termites in eucalypt plantations.
  • Identification and control of insect borers of stored commercial wood.
  • Study on loss of wood increment in teak due to insect defoliatior Hyblaea puera
  • Management strategy for Hyblaea puera in teak using a potential of natural enemy Hyblaea puera Nucleo Polyhedrosis Virus (HpNPV).
  • Investigations are made on the seasonal incidence and control of pests of Ailanthus, Albizia and Gmelina
  • Incidence of pests in natural forests and develop methods to manage insect pest populations in such a way as to limit the economic loss to tolerable levels rather than attempt to control the pest completely.
  • The department popularized the concept of butterfly gardens and now provide technical advice to various agencies for the establishment of butterfly parks.
  • The Department maintains a representative collection of identified insects and is equipped to provide identification service to other research organizations on the Lepidopteran fauna.


Ongoing Research Projects

  1. Demonstrating the effect of controlling the teak defoliator on volume increment in teak in the permanent plots established at Nilambur
  2. Enrichment of insect culture collections at KFRI
  3. Habitat enrichment in the butterfly garden at KFRI campus Peechi
  4. Establishment of tree health helpline for the State of Kerala
  5. Spatial distribution and invasion dynamics of invasive alien weed, Mimosa diplotricha, in the Kerala part of Western Ghats
  6. Long term studies on climate change
  7. Establishment of permanent plots in all forest types along the elevation gradient for continous monitoring of climate change induced variations
  8. Crop Health Management
  9. Control and management of destructive forest invasive species in South Asian natural and plantation forests
  10. Network project on Conservation of Lac Insect Genetic Resources

Ongoing Extension Projects

  1. Systematics of the swallowtail butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) of Kerala, India
  2. Developing a database of non toxic/alternate pest control strategies
  3. Habitat enrichment in the butterfly garden at KFRI campus, Peechi
  4. Enrichment of the insect collection of KFRI
  5. Strengthening and continuation of the Tree Health Helpline for the State of Kerala
  6. Habitat enrichment in the butterfly garden at KFRI campus, Peechi
  7. Enrichment of the insect collection of KFRI
  8. Tree health helpline

Contact: Dr. TV Sajeev
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA
Tel: +91-487-2690120
e-mail: entomology@kfri.res.in