Spoladea recurvalis (Fabricius, 1775)
Beet Webworm
(one synonym : Hymenia exodias Meyrick, 1904)
SPILOMELINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Spoladea recurvalis
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

This Caterpillar is brownish-green, with sparse white hairs, and a brown head with black speckles. It lives and pupates communally in a silken web of leaves and frass on its foodplant. It is a pest on:

  • Silver Beet ( Swiss Chard: Beta vulgaris cicla, CHENOPODIACEAE ),
  • Beetroot ( Beta vulgaris conditiva, CHENOPODIACEAE ),
  • Maize ( Zea mays, POACEAE ) and
  • Soybean ( Glycine max, FABACEAE ),

    and also feeds on:

  • Cockscomb ( Celosia, AMARANTHACEAE ),
  • Love-Lies-Bleeding ( Amaranthus caudatus, AMARANTHACEAE ),
  • Sea Purslane ( Sesuvium portulacastrum, AIZOACEAE ), and
  • Largeseed Goosefoot ( Chenopodium macrospermum, CHENOPODIACEAE ).

    Spoladea recurvalis
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett, Queensland)

    The adult is black with two incomplete white stripes on each forewing, and a complete one across each hindwing. It has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Spoladea recurvalis
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species is found all over the world, including :

  • Hawaii,
  • Hong Kong,
  • India,
  • Midway Atoll,
  • South Africa,
  • United Kingdom,
  • United States of America,

    and over much of Australia, including:

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

    Spoladea recurvalis
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 33.19, pp. 66, 356.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 644, No. 129.

    Buck Richardson,
    Mothology,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, p. 31.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 49.


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    (updated 15 September 2011, 2 February 2013)