(previously known as Aristotelia ivella)
BUCCULATRICIDAE , GRACILLARIOIDEA
This Caterpillar was imported from Florida in America and released in Australia in 1987 to control the weed :
although in Florida they have also been found feeding on
Early instars of the caterpillars eat the flesh of the leaves from inside, leaving a mine between the upper and lower skins of the leaf. Later instars leave just one surface, like a window in the leaf. The caterpillars also feed on other plant species in the genus Baccharis. However, in a test conducted with plants from 24 other plant families, the caterpillars refused to eat them.
The caterpillars pupate in cocoons with ribs,. The cocoons are attached to a leaf or stem of the foodplant.
The moths have silver forewings, each with various markings including two yellow edged black bands. The hindwings are a shiny yellow. The moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm.
The eggs are white, flat, and shiny. They are laid attached to a vein on the upper side of a leaf.
The species is still found in
and is now well established in Australia in
but does not seem to have had much impact on the weed.
New species of Moths of the Superfamily Tineina from Florida,
Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus.,
Volume 23 (1900), p. 225, and also Plate 1, fig. 1.
Mic Julien, Rachel McFadyen, & Jim Cullen (eds.),
Biological Control of Weeds in Australia,
CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood (2012) p. 90.
W.A. Palmer & G. Diatloff,
Host specificity and biology of Bucculatrix ivella Busk, a potential biological control agent for Baccharis halimifolia in Australia,
Journal of the Lepidopterists Society,
Vol. 41 (1987), pp 23-28.
(updated 21 August 2004, 12 October 2013)