Synanthedon tipuliformis (Clerck, 1759)
Currant Borer
(one synonym : Sphinx ophioniformis Hübner, [1813])
SESIINAE ,   SESIIDAE ,   SESIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Alain Fraval, INRA-DPEnv., France)

This Caterpillar originated in Europe, and was unfortunately introduced into Australia by accident. It is a cosmopolitan pest, attacking of members of the plant family SAXIFRAGACEAE, particularly :

  • Black Currants (Ribes nigrum),
  • Red Currants (Ribes rubrum), and
  • Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa).

    It bores into the stems to feed, and in so doing damages the plant. The Caterpillar is a dirty white colour with a brown head. It grows to a length of about 2 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Markku Savela)

    The adult moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms. It has clear wings, and a black body with narrow yellow intersegmental bands on the abdomen.

    The species is now found in

  • Canada,
  • Finland,
  • France,
  • Italy,
  • Latvia,
  • New Zealand,
  • U.K.,
  • U.S.A.,

    as well as Australia, including:

  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Tasmania.

    Control of this pest is possible using :

  • mating disruption with synthetic pheromones,
  • the nematode Neoaplectana bibionis ( STEINERNEMATIDAE ),
  • the nematode Steinernema feltiae ( STEINERNEMATIDAE ), and
  • the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae ( STEINERNEMATIDAE ).


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 7.7, pp. 68, 288, 290.


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    (updated 1 March 2009, 20 January 2014)