(previously known as Melissoblaptes latro)
GALLERIINAE, PYRALIDAE, PYRALOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Liz McGrath, Point Lonsdale, Victoria)
The Caterpillars of this moth are brown with a darker brown head.
The caterpillars live communally in silken webs and bore holes in the seed heads of Grass Trees ( Xanthorrhoea, ASPHODELACEAE ) such as :
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms. They are a favourite food of cockatoos, which dig them out of the stems.
Pupation occurs in the webbed borehole, and the cocoon is covered with frass.
The moths have fawn forewings with a variable pale-edged brown stripe, and hindwings that are fawn coloured with a silken sheen, and have fringed trailing edges. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The species is found all over Australia, including
Further reading :
Philipp C. Zeller,
Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Nordamerikanischen Nachtfälter, Besonders der Microlepidopteren, Abtheilung 2,
Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien,
Band 23 (1873), pp. 213-214.
(updated 5 May 2011, 4 May 2018, 8 January 2021)