(formerly known as Polia picta)
AMPHIPYRINAE, NOCTUIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
These Caterpillars are smooth-skinned and pale grey with a series of longitudinal black lines, and with dark patches on the mesothorax and the last abdominal segment. The central dorsal line becomes yellow in later instars .
They are a pest in suburban gardens in Sydney, damaging a variety of species from the Amaryllis family (AMARYLLIDACEAE), including :
The caterpillars eat the leaves often in a group, and then bore rapidly down into the crown of the bulb, creating a mushy soup of caterpillar poo, killing the plant.
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 5 cms. They pupate with no cocoon in the soil near the food plant.
The pupa is brown and has a length of about 2 cms.
The adult moth is very pretty. The forewings are buff with a pattern of red and black markings. The hindwings are plain buff coloured. The body is brown. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The eggs are laid in a mass on the underside of a foodplant leaf and covered in pale brown hairs. The mass has a width of about 7 mm.
The species occurs across south-east Asia and the western Pacific, including:
and in Australia in:
We do not have any special ideas for controlling this pest except
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 32.6, 32.7, pp. 32, 461.
Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville,
Voyage autour du monde sur la covette La Coquille,
Volume 2, Part 2 (1838), p. 285, and also Plate 19, fig. 7.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 121.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, pp. 3, 191.
(updated 20 July 2013, 24 April 2017)