Eudocima salaminia (Cramer, 1777)
Green Fruit-piercing Moth
(one synonym : Ophideres atkinsoni Scott, 1869)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Eudocima salaminia
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

  • Tape Vine ( Stephania japonica ), and
  • Pearl Vine ( Sarcopetalum harveyanum ),

    Eudocima salaminia
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian Common, from Moths of Australia)

    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.

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

    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.

    Eudocima salaminia
    (Photo: courtesy of Carol Buchanan, Bayldon, New South Wales)

    The moth (not the caterpillar) is a pest on fruit plantations. It has a sharp haustellum 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 :

  • Citrus, and
  • Longans, and
  • Lychees.

    Control may be possible using :

  • lighting the orchards at night,
  • covering the trees with a net for protection or trapping,
  • using poison insect baits baited with fruit attractants,
  • the egg-parasitoid wasp Telenomus lucullus ( SCELIONIDAE ).

    Eudocima salaminia
    (Photo: courtesy of Scott Gavins, Fraser Coast, Queensland)

    The species is found across south-east Asia and the Pacific Islands, including:

  • Hong Kong,
  • Java,
  • Malaysia,
  • New Guinea,
  • Philippines,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Taiwan,
  • Thailand,

    and in Australia it occurs in

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

    Eudocima salaminia
    (Specimen: courtesy of Robert Hogan, Sydney, New South Wales)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 20.3, pp. 65, 449.

    [117, pl. 174 fig. A].

    Pieter Cramer,
    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,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 67 (December 2012), pp. 1, 4-9.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
    Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, pp. 18-19.

    Buck Richardson,
    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,
    Australian Lepidoptera,
    Volume 2 (1869), pp. 6-7, and also Plate 11.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 30 May 2013, 22 April 2017)