Melitara prodenialis (Grote, 1876)
(one synonym: Zophodia bollii Zeller, 1872)
PHYCITINI ,   PHYCITINAE ,   PYRALIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Randy Newman)

The Caterpillars of this species are off-white with a black collar behind the head, and pairs of black spots the abdominal segments. The caterpillars feed on

  • Prickly Pear ( Opuntia stricta, etc., CACTACEAE ).


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

    The moths are fawn with dark zigzag lines on each forewing. The hindwings are white shading darker at the margins. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    The eggs are laid on top of each other in a tall curving pile, and covered in hair, and resemble a hairy cactus spine.

    The species is native to

  • U.S.A.

    The species was introduced into Australia to help control the spread of Prickly Pear.


    Further reading :

    Augustus Radcliffe Grote,
    New Pyralides II,
    The Canadian Entomologist,
    Volume 8 (1876), p. 158.


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    (written 15 October 2001, updated 9 March 2017)