Cotton Web Spinner
(one synonym: Nymphyla sordida Butler, 1886)
PYRAUSTINAE, CRAMBIDAE, PYRALOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Nadine Brown, Swan Reach, South Australia)
These Caterpillars are greenish brown, sprinkled with darkish dots, and with yellow between the segments. The underside is paler than the dorsal surface. The head is brown. The caterpillars are agricultural pests, attacking crops such as :
living communally in a silk web built on the plant. In the wild, they have been found feeding on :
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms.
The adult moth has forewings that can vary from fawn, through rusty brown, to dark brown, sometimes with a pattern. The hindwings are pale brown with a satin sheen. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.
It is a very common species in eastern Australia, and is probably the most widespread and common Crambid in Australia.
The moth appears to be able to fly long distances, as outbreaks of this pest occur in diverse areas. Its coverage includes:
but it appears to have originated in Australia, being found in:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, Fig. 33.20, pp. 66, 354, 357.
Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift,
Volume 7, Part 11 (1863), pp. 475-476, No. 84, and also Plate 12, fig. 4.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 86.
(updated 4 April 2013, 19 March 2017, 2 September 2019, 3 July 2020)