Green Fruit-piercing Moth
(one synonym : Ophideres atkinsoni Scott, 1869)
CALPINAE, NOCTUIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
drawing by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Ophideres atkinsoni,
Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1864), Plate 11,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.
The Caterpillar of this moth is dark grey with eye spots along its back. It feeds on various plants in MENISPERMACEAE including
The caterpillar has a defence display in which it curls its head under the thorax, displaying the dorsal eyespots, and also bends its tail up over its back. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 8 cms. It pupates in a cocoon between leaves of the foodplant joined with silk.
The living adult moth has dark brown forewings with a dark green sheen. There is a sharply defined broad white border along the costa and margin of each forewing. The green sheen fades in museum specimens, becoming dark brown. The hindwings are orange, with a black border and black comma in the middle. The undersides of the forewings are dark brown, each with a white bar and a yellow base. The hindwing undersides are similar to their upper surfaces. The moth has a wingspan of about 8 cms.
The moth (not the caterpillar) is a pest on fruit plantations. 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 particularly prone to attack :
Control may be possible using :
The species is found across south-east Asia and the Pacific Islands, including:
and in Australia it occurs in
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 20.3, pp. 65, 449.
[117, pl. 174 fig. A].
Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
Amsterdam Baalde, vol. 2 (1777), pp. 117-118, and also Plate 174, fig. A..
Lois Hughes & John Moss,
Fruit-piercing Moths - Night Raiders,
Issue 67 (December 2012), pp. 1, 4-9,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 138.
Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
Volume 2 (1869), pp. 6-7, and also Plate 11.
(updated 30 May 2013, 22 April 2017)