(one synonym : Hydrocampe aquatilis Guérin-Méneville, 1832)
SPILOMELINAE , CRAMBIDAE , PYRALOIDEA
Bart Hacobian & Stella Crossley
(Photo: courtesy of Embrapa Soja, Brazil)
Initially: the Caterpillars of this species are pale yellow with a pale brown head. Later they become brown with a dark brown head. They have a black thorax, and rows of black raised spots along the back. The caterpillars are a considerable agricultural pest, feeding inside the developing seedpods of various members of the family FABACEAE, such as :
and the Australian native :
The adult moth has brown forewings with white patches, and white hind wings with an irregular brown border. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.
It is found over much of the tropics, including:
and all over Australia, including :
Control is being attempted using:
Actually two forms of Maruca vitrata are present in Australia.
Although the species is an international economic pest, uncertainty exists as to whether the two distinct forms present in Australia are separate species, and if they are, which one is actually the pest species. Currently, they both appear to occur over the whole of Australia.
Further reading :
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Classi VI. Glossata,
Volume 2 (1787), p. 215, No. 255.
Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville,
Représentation d'après nature de l'une des espèces les plus et souvent non encore figurées de chaque genre d'animaux,
Volume 1 (1832), pp. 524-525, and also Volume 2 (1832) Plate 90, fig. 9.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 42.
(updated 29 October 2012, 24 March 2017)