Scirpophaga innotata (Walker, 1863)
White Stem Borer
(one synonym : Scirpophaga sericea Snellen, 1880)
SCHOENOBIINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Philippine Rice Research Institute)

The Caterpillars of this moth are a pest on

  • Rice ( Oryza sativa, POACEAE ).

    The eggs are laid in groups of about 100, and covered in coloured hairs from the females abdominal tip. The eggs hatch in about a week.

    The Caterpillars are off-white in colour. They bore into the stem of their foodplant. They mature in about a month.

    They pupate in a cocoon inside the stem of the foodplant. The pupation period is about a week.


    (Photo: courtesy of Philippine Rice Research Institute)

    The adult moths have white or pale brown forewings. The hindwings are white, sometimes shading to pale brown at the wingtips. The abdomen is white or brown. The female has a tuft of yellow or pink hairs at the tip of the abdomen. The wingspan is about 3.5 cms. The adults live for about a week.

    The species is found across south-east Asia, including:

  • India,
  • Indonesia,
  • Pakistan,
  • Philippines,

    and also in the tropical north of Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    Various techniques have been tried to control this pest, including :

  • sex pheromones,
  • parasitic wasps, and
  • insecticides.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 33.8, pp. 66, 70, 353.

    Angoon Lewvanich,
    A Revision of the Old World Species of Scirophaga (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae),
    Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History),
    Volume 42 (1982), p. 193.

    Pieter Cornelius Tobias Snellen,
    Natuurlijke Historie. Achtse afdeeling. Lepidoptera,
    Midden Sumatra,
    Volume 4 (1880), Part 8, p. 79.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 28 (1863), p. 523.


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    (updated 22 January 2013)