A new pathway of travels by invasive pest and disease pathogen through railways, as sneakers, were noticed for the first time. The Indian railways passing through the soybean fields infested with Spodoptera litura, after evening attracted the moth of Spodoptera by the illuminating lights in the railways compartment and the moth enters into the compartment through open compartment windows. These moths remain in the railway compartment until the dawn and get out of the compartment as the early morning sun light enters into the compartments and are thus the sneakers crop pest in railways due to their unnoticed travels/transport. Such sneakers crop pest travels up to a distance of 600 km during the period of night from one ecological region to another ecological region having the same crop to infest or the alternative host crop of the pest to cause the fresh infestation. This phenomenon of pest travel was observed in the region of Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh, India, having soybean infestation. This is a quick travel by the pest into different areas, unseen and unreported earlier and may occur in any part of the world where the railways pass through the infested crop areas and attract the positive phototaxis pest and transport them, as sneakers, in to another ecological region.
In another instance, the Sigatoka disease pathogen of banana was also noticed to travels from one ecological region to another ecological region through the railways, as sneakers without notice. This phenomenon of disease pathogen’s travels was noticed in Jalgaon region from where the banana produce is transported to different parts of India. In the trading and transport of banana through railways, the loaders use the banana leaves infected with the sigatoka pathogen as a packaging material for banana bunches while loading the banana produce in the railway wagons for their transportation. Thus, the sigatoka pathogen travels up to a distance of 1200 km/day along with the banana produce through the railways. The sigatoka infected leaves, with the unloading of banana produce also sneaks into the new ecological region and spread to infect the banana crop available in the region.
Thus, the positive phototaxis insect pest are the sneakers in the railways for their travels while diseases pathogens with healthy crop produce travels and embarks to sneaks into a new ecological region and thus the railways transport system unintentionally transport the crop pest and disease pathogen from one ecological region to another. The knowledge of this new travel pathway will be useful in finalizing the strategies of plant quarantine and management of invasive pest and disease pathogens.
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