Banana Moth (Opogona sacchari)
The banana moth is a member of the family of fungus moths. They originated from the continent of Africa mainly thriving in the sub-Saharan African belt.
They eventually moved out of their native land, and was widespread worldwide.
In Brazil they were first spotted during the 1970s, then in Central America and eventually Europe. In North America’s Florida, they were first spotted since 1986. The caterpillars are considered pests to ornamentals.
Description and Identification
The caterpillars are dirty white, transparent, and have brown heads. They are around 2.1-2.6 cm long.
They are brown, smaller than 1 cm, and stay inside a 1.5 cm cocoon during this stage.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present. A dark spot is observed on the apex of the male’s forewing, which is absent in the female moth.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When the wings are opened, they have a dark brown base, with dark brown bands also running through them. The males have two additional brown dots right on top of their forewings as mentioned above. When closed, the brown coloration remains the same, while the bands and spots could be partially visible.
Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are paler and brighter than the forewings. When the wings are closed, they are completely hidden.
Average wingspan: 1.8-2.5 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic
The eggs are laid in tiny crevices in the host plant.
|Distribution||Native: Sub-Saharan Africa in the regions of Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues Island, the Seychelles, and St. Helena |
Invasive: Brazil, Central America, Europe, and Florida
|Habitat||Humid tropical and sub-tropical regions|
|Lifespan of Adults||6 days|
|Host Plants||Bamboo, bananas, maize, pineapples, and sugarcane|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- Czech naturalist Wencesias Bojer first described this species in 1856.