Potato Tuber Worm
(one synonym: Bryotropha solanella Boisduval, 1874)
GELECHIINAE, GELECHIIDAE, GELECHIOIDEA
(Specimen: courtesy of the Queensland Department of Primary Industry, Bundaberg, Queensland)
This Caterpillar is off-white, with a narrow dark brown thorax, and an even narrower dark brown head. It is an agricultural pest. It bores into the leaves, shoots and stems of the plants, as well as root tubers, of members of the family SOLANACEAE, including:
The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1 cm.
The caterpillar often pupates in a damaged tuber.
The adult moths have wings with a complex brown pattern. The moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm. The pheromones of this species have been identified.
The eggs are round and off-white. They are laid in groups typically on the eye of a potato.
The species occurs world-wide , for example
It was introduced by unfortunate accident into Australia, and occurs now in
The species may be controlled by
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 25.13, pp. 57-58, 62, 68, 260.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 57.
Philipp C. Zeller,
Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Nordamerikanischen Nachtfälter, besonders der Microlepidopteren 2,
Verhandlungen der Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien,
Band 23 (1873), pp. 262-264,, and also Plate 3, fig. 17.
(updated 17 December 2008, 24 March 2017, 29 March 2019, 22 March 2021)