Parasa lepida (Cramer, 1799)
Blue-striped Nettle Grub
(formerly known as Latoia lepida)
LIMACODIDAE,   ZYGAENOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Masaki Ikeda, Japan)

These Caterpillars are initially white with a green stripe along the back. Lataer instars become green with double row of dark blue spots along the back. The head and tail each have a pair of red horns. The bodies are covered with stinging hairs. Overseas: the caterpillars are agricultural pests, feeding on crops from many plant families, including

  • Mango ( Mangifera indica, ANACARDIACEAE ),
  • Oil Palm ( Elaeis species, ARECACEAE ),
  • Ebony ( Diospyros ebenum, EBENACEAE ),
  • Cassava ( Manihot esculenta, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Winged Bean ( Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, FABACEAE ),
  • Banana ( Musa species, MUSACEAE ),
  • Coffee ( Coffea species, RUBIACEAE ),
  • Cocoa ( Theobroma cacao, STERCULIACEAE ), and
  • Tea ( Camellia sinensis, THEACEAE ).

    The caterpillars grow to a length of abot 4 cms. They pupate in brown or purple papery oval cocoons in leaf litter or under the top-soil.


    (Photo: courtesy of Vaikoovery, Mangalore, India)

    The adult moths of this species are brown with a green hairy thorax, and a broad green jagged band across each forewing. The hindwings are yelow shading to red at the margins. The males have a wingspan of about 3 cms. The females have a wingspan of about 4.5 cms.

    The pheromones of the female moths have been studied.

    The species occurs over much of the tropics and subtropics, including

  • India,
  • Indonesia, and
  • Malaysia,

    It has been introduced accidentally into

  • Japan,

    and also into

  • Australia.

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    (written 13 April 2018)