T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Herpetogramma licarsisalis (Grass webworm moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Crambidae
Genus: Herpetogramma
Species: H. licarsisalis
Binomial name: Herpetogramma licarsisalis
Synonyms: Botys licarsisalis, Botys pharaxalis, Botys immundalis, Entephria fumidalis, Botys serotinalis
Common names: Grass webworm moth, Sod Webworm moth, Tropical grass webworm moth.

Herpetogramma licarsisalisis a moth of the family Crambidae. It is native to most of the old world tropics, including New Zealand It is an introduced species in many other parts of the world, including Hawaii and the Canary Islands. It is present in the frost-free areas of Northland. They prefer kikuyu, but will eat other grasses including paspalum, fescue, and perennial ryegrass. At high enough densities they can chew out several hectares of pasture in less than 48 hours

Herpetogramma licarsisalisis has a wingspan of about 20 mm. It is a fairly uniform light brown in colour with some small black dots scattered about the wings. When at rest it is triangular in shape.
Moths will live from 6-8 days and have a preoviposition period of 2-3days. About 15 to 20eggs are laid per day
The larvae apparently feed at night and during the day can be found near the base of grass in a curled position. The feed on various grasses of the Poaceae family and is a pest of turf and pastures in some parts of its range. They live in a tube made of the leaves of their food plant lined with silk. Young larvae are light green with a pale brown head with dark markings. Mature larvae are darker green and may have a rose tint over part or most of the body. They have pairs of dark warts on each segment along the back. Full-grown larvae are about 25 mm long and have a 1.8 mm head capsule. Their droppings are a bright green. The larval period is 11- 12 days

  

The 25 mm long larvae
 

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