Diamond Back or Cabbage Moth
(one synonym: Tinea cinerea Geoffroy, 1785)
PLUTELLIDAE , YPONOMEUTOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Michael Keller,
School of Agriculture and Wine,
University of Adelaide,
This Caterpillar is a worldwide pest, and was unfortunately introduced into Australia by accident.
It is an agricultural pest on plants from the family BRASSICACEAE :
Host plants also include several ornamentals, such as :
An important reservoir for the species are various weeds, such as :
The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It then pupates in an open mesh cocoon on a leaf of the foodplant.
The adult moth is brown with a pale zig-zag mark along the trailing edge of the fore wings. When the wings are closed, these create a series of diamond shapes along the back. It has a wingspan of about 1.5 cms. Its pheromones have been elucidated.
Internationally, it is a pest in:
as well as being occurring in Australia, including:
This tiny moth is well-known for its migratory tendencies. Thousands have been counted in a single night crossing coastlines. Attempts to control this pest have included:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 21.7, p. 208.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, pp. 24, 61.
(updated 31 October 2012, 18 January 2014)