Eudocima cocalus (Cramer, 1777)
Cocalus Fruit Piercing Moth
(formerly known as Phalaena cocalus)
CALPINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Eudocima cocalus
female
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is patchy grey in colour. It has been found feeding on:

  • Cocculus ( MENISPERMACEAE ).

    Eudocima cocalus
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The female adult moths of this species have forewings that are dark brown with several white spots. The hindwings are yellow with a broad black margin.

    Eudocima cocalus
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The male moths have patchy brown forewings with no white spots, but the hindwings are orange with a broad black margin. For both sexes, each forewing has a hooked wingtip, and a concave inner margin. The head and thorax are dark brown, but the abdomen is bright orange. The wingspan is about 6 cms.

    Eudocima cocalus
    male, drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Phalaena cocalus
    ,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), Plate CXXXIV, fig. B,
    Image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The species has been found in :

  • Indonesia,

    and in Australia in

  • Queensland.

    The adult moths are pests in Lychee and Carambola orchards. The moths pierce the fruit to suck the juice, thereby damaging the fruit and allowing the ingress of fungal spores and bacteria.

    Various systems have been proposed for controlling the pest including:

  • the wasp Euplectrus melanocephalus ( EULOPHIDAE ), and
  • attractants such as synthetic pheromones.


    Further reading :

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), p. 59, and also Plate 134, fig. B.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 137.


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    (updated 15 October 2011, 21 July 2015)