Scirpophaga excerptalis (Walker, 1863)
Sugarcane Top Borer
(one synonym : Scirpophaga intacta Snellen, 1890)
SCHOENOBIINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Insect Biosystematics, Bangalore)

These Caterpillars are off white, with a brown head and a brown line along the back. They tunnel into the stems of their foodplant. The caterpillars are a major pest in the tropics, feeding on various species in POACEAE including

  • Sugar Cane (Saccharum officinarum, and
  • Wheat (Triticum species).


    (Photo: courtesy of National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Insect Biosystematics, Bangalore)

    The caterpillars pupate in a brown cocoon in a fold of a leaf of their foodplant.


    (Photo: courtesy of National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Insect Biosystematics, Bangalore)

    The adult moths are white, sometimes with a pale brown streak or a black dot on each forewing.


    (Photo: courtesy of National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Insect Biosystematics, Bangalore)

    The eggs are laid in groups on a foodplant leaf, and covered in brown hairs.

    The species is found across south-east Asia, including

  • India,
  • Java,

    and also occurs in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading

    Pieter Cornelius Tobias Snellen,
    Mededeelingen van het Proefstation voor Suik Riet West Java 'Kagok',
    1890, p. 94.

    Angoon Lewvanich,
    A Revision of the Old World Species of Scirophaga (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae),
    Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History),
    Volume 42 (1982), p. 192.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 27 (1863), p. 142.


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    (written 23 March 2013, 4 April 2016)

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