Pyropteron doryliformis (Ochsenheimer, 1808)
Dock Moth
(also known as Synansphecia doryliformis)
SESIINAE ,   SESIIDAE ,   SESIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Pyropteron doryliformis
(Photo: courtesy of the South Australian Research and Development Institute)

This species has been introduced deliberately from Morocco via France into Australia from 1989 onwards to control the pasture weeds in POLYGONACEAE, particularly:

  • Fiddle Dock ( Rumex pulcher ), and
  • Curly Dock ( Rumex crispus ).

    In one case, batches of eggs were given to farmers for their own properties, 31 million eggs being distributed in total.

    The Caterpillar is off-white with a brown head, and bores into the stems and roots of its foodplant to feed.

    Pyropteron doryliformis

    The adult moth looks rather like a wasp, having transparent wings with broad black margins. The abdomen has three narrow white bands, and the legs and some hairs on the abdominal tip are a golden yellow.

    The species was originally endemic to south-western Europe and north-western Africa, including

  • France, and
  • Morocco, and
  • Spain.

    It is now also found in Australia in

  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ferdinand Ochsenheimer,
    Die Schmetterlinge von Europa,
    Liepzig : Fleisher, Volume 2 (1808), p. 141, No. 9.


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    (updated 7 September 2009, 20 January 2014)