Penicillaria jocosatrix Guenée, 1852
Mango Shoot Borer
(previously known as Bombotelia jocosatrix)
EUTELIINAE,   EUTELIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is a translucent mauve, with greenish sides and tail, and is covered sparsely in dark red dots. It has a light brown head. It is an agricultural pest, feeding on the young shoots of

  • Mango ( Mangifera indica, ANACARDIACEAE ),
  • Cashew ( Anacardium occidentale, ANACARDIACEAE ),
  • Pepper Trees ( Schinus molle, ANACARDIACEAE ), and
  • Terminalia ( Terminalia carolinensis, COMBRETACIAE ).

    The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The adult moth has dark brown forewings with some thin white arcs. The margin of each of the forewings appears to have an arc cut out of the tornus. Sometimes the wings are very dark. The hindwings are white with a central black spot and a broad dark border. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    The moth has an unusual resting posture, with a crest of scales raised over the head, the abdomen curled up over the body, and the wings creased in waves.


    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species is found from southeast Asia to the Pacific, including :

  • Borneo,
  • Guam,
  • Hawaii,
  • Pacific islands, and
  • Thailand

    also including, in Australia:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 47.15, p. 456.

    Achille Guenée,
    Noctuélites,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 6 (1852), p. 304, No. 1111.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 158.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 194.


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    (updated 25 June 2011, 6 March 2018)