Nacoleia octasema (Meyrick, 1886)
Banana Scab Moth
(previously known as Lamprosema octasema)
SPILOMELINAE,   CRAMBIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Nacoleia octasema
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

These Caterpillars are yellow or reddish, with a dark head and prothorax. The caterpillars attack the young fruit of, and are a pest on:

  • Bananas ( Musa acuminata, MUSACEAE ),

    and also feed on the young fruit of

  • Lobster Claws ( Heliconia, MUSACEAE ),
  • Screw Pines ( Pandanus, PANDANACEAE ), and
  • Attap Palm ( Nypa fruticans, ARECACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate in loose silk cocoons between the fruit or in dead leaves.

    The adult moth is pale brown with some dark spots and lines, particularly two spots on the costa of each forewing. The wingspan is about 2 cms.

    The eggs are flat and translucent, and are laid overlapping in small groups on bracts or leaves by flower buds. A female moth lays about 100 eggs in total.

    The species is found across south-east Asia and the south Pacific, including

  • Malaysia,
  • New Guinea, and
  • Samoa,

    and in Australia in

  • Queensland, and
  • Christmas Island.


    Further reading:

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 34.3, pp. 58, 60, 66, 357.

    B. A. Franzmann and Rae Garrett,
    Description of the immature stages and adult genitalia of the Banana Scab Moth, Nacoleia octasema (PYRALIDAE: PYRAUSTINAE), from north Queensland,
    Pacific Insects,
    Volume 19, Nos. 1-2 (October 1978), pp. 45-51.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of Lepidoptera from the South Pacific,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    1886, p. 259, No. 111.

    Ronald Wood Paine,
    The Banana Scab Moth, Nacoleia octasema (Meyrick): its distribution, ecology and control.
    South Pacific Commission,
    Technical paper No. 145, vi + 70p (1964).


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    (created 11 February 2005, updated 18 March 2012)