Sugarcane Top Borer
(one synonym : Scirpophaga intacta Snellen, 1890)
SCHOENOBIINAE, CRAMBIDAE, PYRALOIDEA
(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
The caterpillars pupate in a brown cocoon in a fold of a leaf of their foodplant.
The adult moths are white, sometimes with a pale brown streak or a black dot on each forewing. The tip of the abdomen of the females has an orange tuft.
The eggs are laid in groups on a foodplant leaf, and covered in brown hairs.
The species is found across south-east Asia, including
and is also expected to be found in:
but previous reports of this species in Queensland may have been mistaken identifications.
Pieter Cornelius Tobias Snellen,
Mededeelingen van het Proefstation voor Suik Riet West Java 'Kagok',
1890, p. 94.
A Revision of the Old World Species of Scirophaga (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae),
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History),
Volume 42 (1982), p. 192.
Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 27 (1863), p. 142.
(written 23 March 2013, 4 April 2016)