Niphograpta albiguttalis (weed bioagent)

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Niphograpta albiguttalis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Willey Durden
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Niphograpta albiguttalis (weed bioagent) (Warren, 1889) - (waterhyacinth moth)

This is a small to medium-sized moth which is native to South America. It has been released in the 1970s and 80s into various countries against the aquatic weed Eichhornia crassipes. The larvae bore into the petioles and buds, damaging the weed up to plant death. The life cycle of the moth lasts around 1 month to 6 weeks.

After releases, populations have expanded quickly and the moth has dispersed at a rate of up to several kilometres per day. However, in the long term, the impact of the moth has been often temporarily and its distribution tends to become patchy and seasonal. It has even disappeared from some areas where it had been established.

Synonyms:
Epipagis albiguttalis
Sameodes albiguttalis