Parthenia Leaf Miner
BUCCULATRICIDAE , GRACILLARIOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)
The Caterpillar of this species was imported from its native Mexico and released in Queensland to control the pest :
The caterpillar makes a leaf-mine, eating a leaf from inside, leaving the upper and lower skin intact.
The caterpillar pupates in a white cocoon under a leaf or stem.
The adult moth is white and brown with a wingspan of about 5 mm.
The species is found in its original habitat in
and can now be found in Australia in
Further reading :
John David Bradley,
in A.S. McClay, R.E. McFadyen & J.D. Bradley:
Biology of Bucculatrix parthenica Bradley sp. n. (Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae)
and its establishment in Australia as a biological control agent for Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae),
Bulletin of Entomological Research, Volume 80, Part 4 (1990), pp. 427-432.
(updated 30 July 2004, 28 July 2015)