Hypsipyla grandella

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Hypsipyla grandella (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hypsipyla grandella (Zeller, 1848) - (mahogany shoot borer)

The moth is a serious pest of mahogany and other trees in the tropical forests of Central and South America. The larvae attack the apical shots, leaves and also the seed capsules. Even 1 caterpillar can cause extensive damage, especially during establishing mahogany plantations. In Swietenia macrophylla the damage on the shoots causes forking of the stems, excessive production of lateral branches and deformation of the trees, reducing their economic value.

Systemic insecticides have been used as trunk injections for control. In addition, it is recommended to avoid planting pure stands of susceptible trees and to allow some weeds to grow in the plantations. The adult has a wingspan of 30-40 mm and is brown. The hind wings are white with a brown outer margin. The larvae are greyish and up to 25 mm long. The life cycle form egg, through 6 larval stages, to mature adult lasts 1-2 months.

Vernacular names
• English: mahogany shoot borer
• Español: barrenador de las meliáceas
• Português: broqueador-do-ponteiro-da-meliáceas