Spodoptera picta

Spodoptera picta is a voracious caterpillar which attacks Crinums, in particular Crinum pedunculatum, during early-mid autumn in the greater Sydney (Australia) surrounds.

Crinum pedunculatum is an Australian native crinum growing in bushland, loam, and even sometimes swampish areas along the east coast of Australia. This crinum at the peak of its growing season is nearly a couple of metres tall. It is often used in street plantings, possibly for its architectural beauty, or because it requires no care and makes a nice cushioning plant for cars which tend to crash into them.

The Spodoptera picta moth must think it a great banquet to find these plants so exposed and all tender and juicy; in no time flat, the caterpillars devastated the population on this round-about.

Crinum destruction in roundabout, David Sneddon

The Lily Borer caterpillars of the Brithys genus are so often and maybe even unjustly blamed for this type of destruction... however, an inspection of the plant may reveal a similar sized caterpillar with a yellow stripe down its side.

Spodoptera picta caterpillar on plant, David Sneddon

The moth appears rather ordinary and just a little attractive with its tattoos.

Spodoptera picta moth, David Sneddon

Information and pictures provided by David Sneddon.


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Page last modified on October 24, 2009, at 08:18 AM