Hellula hydralis Guenée, 1854
Cabbage Centre Grub
(one synonym : Scopula criasusalis Walker, 1859)
GLAPHYRIINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Hellula hydralis
(Photo: courtesy of Michael Keller, School of Agriculture and Wine,
University of Adelaide, South Australia)

These Caterpillars are smooth, brown and stripy, with a dark head. They are an agricultural pest, feeding on the growing tips and flowers of many crops in BRASSICACEAE, including:

  • Cabbage ( Brassica oleracea ),
  • Canola ( Brassica napus ),
  • Broccoli ( Brassica italica ),
  • Brussel Sprouts ( Brassica gemmifera ),
  • Cauliflower ( Brassica botrytis ),
  • Kohlrabi ( Brassica gongylodes ),
  • Turnips ( Brassica rapa ),
    as well as
  • Parsnips ( Pastinaca sativa, APIACEAE ).

    Hellula hydralis
    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

    The adult moth is brown with two irregular darker stripes across each forewing. The hindwings are plain fawn. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Hellula hydralis
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    The species is found occasionally in

  • New Zealand,

    but commonly occurs throughout Australia, including:

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

    Hellula hydralis
    female, drawing by Achille Guenée, Deltoides & Pyralides,

    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Tome 8, Part 5, Section 1 (1852), Plate 10, fig. 7,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig, 33.15, pp. 66, 354.

    Achille Guenée,
    Deltoides & Pyralides,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 8, Part 5, Section 1 (1852), p. 416, No. 539, and also Plate 10, fig. 7.

    P.C. Hely, G. Pasfield, and J.G. Gellatley,
    Insect pests of fruit and vegetables in NSW. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

    Buck Richardson,
    Mothology,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, p. 28.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 29.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 133.


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    (updated 22 January 2013, 13 December 2016)