Greater Coconut Spike Moth
(one synonym : Mucialla fuscolimbalis Snellen, 1901)
GALLERIINAE, PYRALIDAE, PYRALOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)
These caterpillars are a pest, feeding on
both of ARECACEAE.
Early instars feed on male flowers, and later instars attack female flowers and developing nuts.
The adult moths have pale green or brown forewings, each with a scattering of black dots, and sometimes a number of thin red stripes from base to margin, and sometimes a dark band along the margin. The hindwings are plain pale yellow. The wingspan is about 2.5 cms.
The species is found from south-east Asia to the pacific islands, including :
as well as in Australia in
There is confusion about whether the moths from Oceania are this species or the related Tirathaba complexa.
Attempts have been made to control the pest using:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig/ 31.8, p. 348.
C.E. Gallego and R.G. Abad,
Incidence, biology and control of the greater coconut spike moth, Tirathaba rufivena Walker (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae),
Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies,
Volume 10, Number 2, 1985 [Publ. date 1987], pp. 9-13,
Pieter Cornelius Tobias Snellen,
Aanteekeningen over Pyraliden,
Tijdschrift voor Entomologie,
Volume 43 (1901), pp. 308-309, and also Plate 17, figs. 10-11.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 188.
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 30 (1864), p. 960.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 134.
(updated 6 November 2010, 22 March 2015, 30 August 2019, 11 July 2020)