Hypsipyla robusta

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Hypsipyla robusta (click on image to enlarge it)
Author: Photography Group, BIO/CSIRO
Source: BOLD Systems

Hypsipyla robusta (Moore, 1886) - (red cedar tip moth)

The moth is found in tropical parts of Africa, Asia and Australia. The larvae bore into the growing shoots of several forest trees from the family of Meliaceae, killing the shoots and causing substantial damage. Especially young trees are affected. In fact H. robusta often prevents the successful establishment of mahogany plantations. Timber quality is also reduced.

The host plants include species of Entandrophragma, Khaya, Swietenia, Cedrella, Tectona and Toona. Fruits may also be attacked. Attempts to find an effective and economical control method for this pest have not been very successful.

The adults have brown forewings with a faint zigzag pattern and a wingspan of about 3 cm. The larvae are light brown and turn greyish blue when they mature. The development from egg, through 4-6 instars, to adult lasts around 1-2 months, but can be extended under unsuitable conditions when larvae go into diapause. There are between 5 and 10 generations per year.