Need help with identifying this disease in okra/bhindi (ladys finger)

Dear friends,

Greetings! Would really appreciate if someone could help me with the identification of the condition in the photos. Kindly note the spots on the stem and the black ants that have come to feed.

Thanks much in advance!

warmly,
Ramji
Auroville/Pondicherry





Hi Ramji,

I would have thought aphids, but I can not make out a lot of them in the picture. Check for these small sucking insects on the tender parts - typically aphids secrete honeydew that attract ants; honeydew deposited on the plant leads to the black soot.

If you observe closely, you will see each aphid rising up and releasing a drop of honeydew when an ant comes and strokes the aphid.  :sunglasses:
Let us know what you make out.

Thanks, Chandra. I have not spotted aphids as I know them - whitish, ‘pulpish’ bugs that I have seen in the past. As you may notice from the stem of the affected okra plant - there is some fine hay/grass particle-like residue that has been building up over time, before the rot set into the fruits. I have a feeling this condition has been brought on by excess watering and that is something that I am correcting. However, the condition is something that I have not been able to identify, despite a fair amount of searching on the Net.

warmly,
Ramji

While aphids are most common in general, several other sucking pests secrete honey dew as well - soft scales, white flies, mealy bugs etc. I am inclined to believe the hay like stuff is the molted skeletal remains of the insects. The picture is at not at such a micro level, but I would still suspect insects there.