Palpita unionalis (Hübner, 1796)
Jasmine Moth
(one synonym : Margarodes transvisalis Guenée, 1854)
SPILOMELINAE,   CRAMBIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of iznikilcetarim)

This Caterpillar is green, shading blueish toward the head and the tail. When disturbed, it is inclined to wriggle violently, or drop on a thread. This species is an international pest, feeding on

  • Olive ( Olea europaea, OLEACEAE ),
  • Privet ( Ligustrum vulgare, OLEACEAE ),
  • Jasmine ( Jasminum officinale, OLEACEAE ), and
  • Strawberry Tree ( Arbutus unedo, ERICACAE).

    The caterpillar starts life as an egg which is white and shaped as a flattened sphere. The caterpillars are initially yellow, later becoming green. They grow to a length of about 2 cms.


    The adult has shiny transparent wings. The fore wings have a brown leading edge, and two black spots in the middle. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.


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

    The moth occurs in:

  • Egypt,
  • Gambia,
  • Madagascar,
  • Spain, and
  • Turkey,

    and in Australia, specimens have been taken in

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

    The species is known for its migrations. Some components of its pheromones have been elucidated.


    Further reading :

    Jacob Hübner,
    Lepidoptera VI, Pyralides II,III,
    Sammlung Europäischer Schmetterlinge,
    Volume 6 (1796), Plate 20, fig. 132.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 31 January 2013)