Patagoniodes farinaria (Turner, 1904)
Senecio Blue Stem-borer
(formerly known as Homoeosoma farinaria)
PHYCITINAE,   PYRALIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Dianne Clarke, Kuratau, New Zealand)

The Caterpillar of this species bores into the stems of plants in ASTERACEAE, such as

  • Ragwort ( Senecio jacobaea, introduced ), and
  • Variable Groundsel ( Senecio pinnatifolius, native ).

    The caterpillars are stout and bluish-brown, with a dark head and collar, and vague stripes along the body.


    (Photo: courtesy of Dianne Clarke, Kuratau, New Zealand)

    The caterpillars bore into the stems, leaving a mess of silk, old skins, and frass at the borehole.


    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    This adult moth has flour-coloured forewings, each with dark speckles, a ragged dark band across the middle, and another across the margin. The hindwings are plain pale grey. The abdomen is the colour of flour. The moth has a wingspan of about 3 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    This species occurs in

  • New Zealand,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • South Australia.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)


    Further reading:

    Peter B. McQuillan & J. E. Ireson,
    The identity and immature stages of Patacoiodes farinaria (Turner) comb. n. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Phycitinae) in Australia and New Zealand,
    Australian Journal of Entomology,
    Volume 26, Issue 3, pp. 239-241.

    A. Jefferis Turner,
    A preliminary revision of the Australian Thyrididae & Pyralidae. Part I,
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
    Volume 18 (1904), p. 126, No. 43.


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    (written 30 March 2019)