Lantanophaga pusillidactylus (Walker, 1864)
(one synonym : Platyptilia lantana Busck, 1914)
PTEROPHORINAE ,   PTEROPHORIDAE ,   PTEROPHORIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Debbie Matthews & Stella Crossley

Lantanophaga pusillidactylus

These Caterpillars are buff with dark brown heads. They were introduced from Mexico into Hawaii in 1902, and later into Australia to control

  • Lantana ( Lantana camara, VERBENACEAE ).

    It has also been reported to feed on many other plants in VERBENACEAE including:

  • Indian Lantana ( Lantana indica ),
  • Buttonsage ( Lantana involucrata ),
  • Galapagos Lantana ( Lantana peduncularis ),
  • Santa Maria ( Lippia alba ), and
  • Fogfruit ( Phyla lanceolata ),

    as well as plants in other families such as:

  • Sacatropo ( Caperonia palustris, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Spearmint ( Mentha spicata, LAMIACEAE ), and
  • Bladderwort ( Utricularia species, LENTIBULARIACEAE ).

    Lantanophaga pusillidactylus
    Pupa, showing scale of 0.5 mm.

    Lantanophaga pusillidactylus
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The adult moth has two lobes to each forewing, and three lobes to each hindwing. The wings are brown with dark markings. The moth has a wingspan of about 1 cm.

    Lantanophaga pusillidactylus
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Entomology)

    The species originated in the

  • West Indies and
  • south-west of USA.
    It now occurs wherever Lantana grows, in the tropics and subtropics all around the world, including
  • Azores,
  • Chagos Archipelago,
  • Gibraltar,
  • Hawaii,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Israel,
  • Micronesia,
  • Sicily, and
  • Spain,

    and now occurs in Australia in

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 72.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 30 (1864), p. 933, No. 13.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 3 May 2011)