Cochylis atricapitana (Stephens, 1852)
Crown Boring Moth
(previously known as Eupoecilia atricapitana)
COCHYLINI,   TORTRICINAE,   TORTRICIDAE,   TORTRICOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, British Columbia, Canada)

This Caterpillar has been introduced deliberately from Spain in 1985 into Australia to control the weed

  • Tansy Ragwort ( Senecio jacobaea, ASTERACEAE ).

    which is its foodplant. The caterpillar has also been introduced into Canada for the same reason. The caterpillar is white with a brown head, and feeds by boring into the stems of its food plant.


    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adult moth has off-white forewings, each with dark brown markings including a patch at the base, a band across the middle, and along the margin. The hindwings are plain greyish-brown. The head and thorax are dark brown. The moth has a wingspan of about 14 mm.


    (Photo: courtesy of Bavarian Natural History Collections (SNSB), Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen)

    The species is native to Europe and Asia, occurring for example in

  • China,
  • Russia (listed as Cochylichroa atricapitana),
  • Spain,
  • Sweden, and
  • U.K.

    It has been released in Australia in

  • Victoria, and
  • Tasmania.

    The genus of this moth is controversial.


    Further Reading:

    D.A. McLaren,
    Observations on the life cycle and establishment of Cochylis atricapitana (Lrp : Cochylidae),
    a moth used for biological control of Senecio jacobaea in Australia
    ,
    Entomophaga,
    Volume 37, Number 4 (1992), pp. 641-648.

    James Francis Stephens,
    Lepidoptera,
    List of the specimens of the British animals in the collection of the British Museum,
    Part 10 (1852), p. 103.

    Susan Turner & Sandy Cesselli,
    Cochylis atricapitana (Tansy ragwort root crown feeding moth) Operational Field Guide,
    Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, British Columbia, Canada (2013).


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    (updated 2 September 2008, updated 22 February 2014, 6 July 2019, 17 July 2020)