Diamond Back or Cabbage Moth
(one synonym : Tinea cinerea Geoffroy, 1785)
(Photo: courtesy of Michael Keller, School of Agriculture and Wine, University of Adelaide, South Australia.)
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. The pheromones of this species have been identified.
Internationally, it is a pest in:
as well as being occurring over the whole of 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:
Some confusing look-alikes are
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 21.7, p. 208.
Volume 1, Edition 10 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 538, No. 265.
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. 45.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, pp. 24, 61.
(updated 31 October 2012, 17 April 2017, 13 October 2020, 5 December 2021)