Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée, 1854)
Yellow Peach Moth
(one synonym : Botys nicippealis Walker, 1859)
SPILOMELINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Conogethes punctiferalis larva

This Caterpillar is buff coloured, and the final instar has several dorsal brown warts on each segment. Its habit of feeding on fruit and other crops makes it an agricultural pest. The specimen pictured above was found in an ear of

  • Maize ( Zea mays, POACEAE).

    Other foodplants reported are:

  • Livistona Palm ( Livistona humilis, ARECACEAE ),
  • Sunflowers ( Helianthus annuus, ASTERACEAE ),
  • Durian ( Durio zibethinus, BOMBACACEAE ),
  • Paw paw ( Carica papaya, CARICACEAE ),
  • Castor Oil Plant ( Ricinus communis, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Billy Goat Plum ( Planchonia careya, LECYTHIDACEAE ),
  • Sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor, POACEAE ),
  • Macadamia Nuts ( Macadamia integrifolia, PROTEACEAE ),
  • Peach ( Prunus persica, ROSACEAE ),
  • Lemon ( Citrus limon, RUTACEAE ),
  • Rambutan ( Nephelium lappaceum, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • Eggplant ( Solanum melongena, SOLANACEAE ),
  • Flame tree ( Brachychiton acerifolium, STERCULIACEAE ), and
  • Cardamom ( Elettaria cardamomum, ZINGIBERACEAE ).

    The caterpillar lives concealed on its foodplant in a case lined with silk. It grows to a length of about 2 cms.

    Conogethes punctiferalisadult, natural posture

    The adult is yellow, with a dark pattern. The moth has a wingspan of about 3 cms. Its pheromones have been investigated. The males also emit powerful ultrasonic sounds (around 82KHz) in the courtship process to induce a female to adopt the mating posture.

    Conogethes punctiferalisadult, set specimen
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species is a pest on fruit trees and other crops over much of Asia, for example :

  • India,
  • Taiwan,
  • Thailand,
  • Vietnam,

    as well as in Australia in:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • South Australia.

    Control of the pest has been investigated using:

  • various insecticides, and
  • the fly Argyrophylax proclinata ( TACHINIDAE ).


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 9.17, pp. 66, 355.

    Achille Guenée,
    Deltoïdes et Pyralites,
    in Boisduval & Guenée :
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 8 (1854), p. 320, No. 347.

    Ryo Nakano, Takuma Takanashi, Fumio Ihara, Koji Mishiro, Masatoshi Toyama, & Yukio Ishikawa,
    Ultrasonic courtship song of the yellow peach moth, Conogethes punctiferalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae),
    Applied Entomology and Zoology, Volume 47, Issue 2 (May 2012), pp. 87-93.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 133.


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    (updated 4 November 2010, 27 January 2013)