Epinotia lantana Busck, 1910
Lantana Flower-Cluster Moth
(also known as Crocidosema lantana)
EUCOSMINI ,   OLETHREUTINAE ,   TORTRICIDAE ,   TORTRICOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Epinotia lantana
(Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

This caterpillar has been found feeding in the stems, flowers, and fruits of

  • Lantana ( Lantana camara, VERBENACEAE ),
  • Litchee ( Litchi chinensis, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • Guayacan ( Bignonia chrysantha, BIGNONIACEAE ), and
  • Yellow Bells ( Tecoma stans, BIGNONIACEAE ).

    Lantana is a pestilent weed over much of Australia, so this caterpillar was imported in an attempt to control the weed.

    Epinotia lantana
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Australian Museum)

    The adult moths are a patchy brown, with a dark triangular mark on the inner margin of each forewing. The hindwings are white with brown veins and margins. The wingspan is about 2 cms.

    The species occurs naturally in

  • Mexico, and
  • southern USA.
    It was introduced around 1902 into
  • Hawaii
    to control Lantana there.

    The species was subsequently introduced around 1913 into Australia, and is now found in:

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    The moth has also been introduced into other countries to control Lantana there, including

  • Caroline Islands, and
  • Galapagos.

    Further reading :

    August Busck,
    New Central-American Microlepidoptera introduced into the Hawaiian Islands,
    Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington,
    Volume 12 (1910), p. 132.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    The Occurrence of Epinotia lantana (Busck) (Lepidoptera: Olethreutidae) in Australia,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Vol. 82, pt. 2 (1957), pp. 230-232.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 28.5, pp. 72, 280.


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    (updated 6 August 2013)