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


Plutella xylostella (Diamondback moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Plutellidae
Genus: Plutella
Species: P. xylostella
Binomial name: Plutella xylostella
Synonyms: Phalaena xylostella, Phalaena tinea xylostella, Cerostoma xylostella,
Cerostoma maculipennis, Plutella maculipennis
Common name: Diamondback moth, Cabbage moth.

Plutella xylostella is a European moth with a wingspan of about 15 mm and a body length of 6 mm. It is believed to originate in the Mediterranean region. It now has a global distribution and is found in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Hawaiian Islands and New Zealand.
The diamondback moth lays its eggs only on plants in the family Brassicaceae. Nearly all cruciferous vegetable crops are attacked, but some are favoured over others.

The moth has a short life cycle (14 days at 25 °C), is highly fecund (reproductive rate). The moths are weak fliers, seldom rising more than 2 m above the ground and not flying long distances. They are, however, passive migrants, being easily transferred by wind over long distances. It is one of the most important pests of cruciferous crops in the world and will usually only feed on plants that produce glucosinolates (mustard oils).

For more photos visit: http://britishlepidoptera.weebly.com/001-plutella-xylostella-diamond-backed-moth.html

Photographed January, New Plymouth