Euclasta gigantalis Viette, 1957
Rubber Vine Moth
(one synonym: Euclasta whalleyi Popescu-Gorj & Constantinescu 1973)
PYRAUSTINI,   PYRAUSTINAE,   CRAMBIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Photo: courtesy of Alan Fletcher Research Station, Sherwood
Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland

This species was introduced deliberately into Australia from Madagascar in 1992 in an attempt to control :

  • India Rubber vine ( Cryptostegia grandiflora, ASCLEPIADACEAE ).

    The Caterpillars are brown in colour with a row of orange dots along each side. They are tapered at both ends and grow to a length of about 3 cms. Their prescence is often indicated by their droppings hanging on threads from the food plant.


    Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

    The adult moths have very long legs and antennae.


    (Photo: courtesy of John Moore, Ravenshoe, Queensland)

    The forewings are brown, each with a pale stripe containing a black dot. The hindwings are silky white with a brown margin and a mauve sheen.


    Specimen: courtesy of Alan Fletcher Research Station, Sherwood
    Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland

    The eggs are white and rather flat. They are laid typically in overlapping masses of about 20 on the underside of a foodplant leaf.


    egg mass and young caterpillars
    Photo: courtesy of Alan Fletcher Research Station, Sherwood
    Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland

    The species is now found, as well as in

  • Madagascar,

    but also in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Rachel E. Cruttwell McFadyen, Marie Vitelli & Catherine Setter,
    Host specificity of the Rubber Vine Moth, Euclasta whalleyi Popescu-Gorj and Constantinescu (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Pyraustinae): field host range compared to that predicted in laboratory tests,
    Australian Journal of Entomology,
    Volume 41, part 4 (2002), pp. 321-323.

    J. Mo, M. Treviño & W.A. Palmer,
    Establishment and distribution of the Rubbervine Moth, Euclasta whalleyi Popescu-Gorj & Constantinescu (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) following its release in Australia,
    Australian Journal of Entomology,
    Volume 39 (2000), pp. 344-350.

    R.E. McFadyen & J.J. Marohasy
    A leaf-feeding moth, Euclasta whalleyi (Lep.:Pyralidae) for the biological control of Cryptostegia grandiflora(Asclepiadaceae) in Queensland, Australia,
    Entomophaga,
    Volume 35 (1990), pp. 431-435.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 37.

    Pierre Viette,
    Les Lepidopteres des Nids,
    Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France,
    Volume 62 (1957), pp. 107-122.


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    (updated 11 December 2012, 6 May 2016)