Ascia monuste

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Ascia monuste (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Jan Sepp (1778 - 1853)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ascia monuste (Godart) - (great southern white)

The caterpillars attack Brassica crops or related plants in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. The damage can be extensive, including defoliation and substantial crop losses. The adults can migrate for more than 100 km to find suitable breeding areas.

The caterpillars are typically controlled through multiple applications of pesticides during a growing season. However, attempts are also made to find resistant cabbage cultivars.

Vernacular names
• English: great southern white
cabbage white moth
• Español: gusanos de las crucíferas
• Português: borboleta-da-couve
branca-da-couve

The wingspan is between 6 and 8 cm. The wings are white, sometimes slightly yellowish or with darker patches. The wing margins are dark brown to black. Various subspecies have been described which differ in their geographic distribution and pest status. E.g. the form Ascia monuste orseis is considered a serious pest of cabbage in southern Brazil.