Poliopaschia lithochlora (Lower, 1896)
Tube Caterpillar
(formerly known as Epipaschia lithochlora)
EPIPASCHIINAE,   PYRALIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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

The Caterpillar of this species feeds on:

  • Blake Paperbark ( Melaleuca quinquenervia, MYRTACEAE ).

    The caterpillars live in tough silk tubes in a communal web of leaves joined by silk.


    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph, listed as Enchesphora lithochlora)

    The adult moth has a pattern of various shades greyish brown. The moth has a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    The species is being studied by a cooperative of a number of US and Australian bodies, including the Agricultural Research Service in USA, as a possible control agent for Blake Paperbark, which has become a pest outside Australia, particularly in Florida.

    The species is found endemically in

  • Western Australia,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    Some taxonomists consider that the genus Enchesphora is a senior synonym of Poliopaschia, and so list the moth as Enchesphora lithochlora.


    Further reading

    Oswald B. Lower,
    New Australian Heterocera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 20 (1896), pp. 154-155.


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    (updated 12 February 2010, 14 September 2015, 25 August 2019)