Eudocima materna (Linnaeus, 1767)
(one synonym : Ophideres apta Walker, 1858)
CALPINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Female
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species feed on plants in the Moonseed family ( (MENISPERMACEAE), for example :

  • Snake Vine ( Tinospora smilacina ), and
  • Roundleaf Vine ( Legnephora moorei ).


    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of John Moore, Karratha, Western Australia)

    The adult moth has fawn forewings with a variable pattern of pale and dark lines and patches. The hindwings are bright yellow to orange, with a dark spot in the middle and a broad dark border with white spots along the edge. The females have an additional white diagonal stripe across each forewing. The moth has a wingspan of about 6 cms.


    Cuba
    1979
          
    Benin
    1980

    The species occurs all around the world, including:

  • Canada,
  • French Antilles,
  • Ethiopia,
  • India,
  • Mexico,
  • New Guinea,

    as well as in Australia in:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.


    Female
    Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

    The adult moth is an agricultural pest, attacking fruit. It has a sharp proboscis that it uses to penetrate the fruit in order to suck the juices. After the fruit has been pierced, fungi and other microorganisms can enter the fruit and cause it to rot. The moth is is known to attack :

  • Oranges,
  • Lemons,
  • other Citrus, and
  • Lychees and Longans.

    Control is being attempted using :

  • protective nets,
  • the larva-parasitoid wasp Euplectrus melanocephalus ( EULOPHIDAE ) and
  • the egg-parasitoid wasp Telenomus lucullus ( SCELIONIDAE ).


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 65, 449.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Insecta Lepidoptera,
    Systema Naturae,
    Edition 12 (1767), Volume 1, Part 2, p. 840, No. 117.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 138.


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    (updated 30 July 2013, 22 May 2017)