Home / Crambid Snout Moth (Crambidae) / Melonworm Moth (Diaphania hyalinata)

Melonworm Moth (Diaphania hyalinata)

The melonworm moth is a member of the family of grass moths. They are easily recognizable from the bushy growth at the end of their abdomen.

Melonworm Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Crambidae
  • Genus: Diaphania
  • Scientific Name: Diaphania hyalinata

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

The caterpillars are initially colorless but soon become a pale yellow-green, and at the final stage, two distinct white lines can be observed running down its body. These larvae go through five instars. To give themselves shade, they construct a silken structure underneath the leaves of the host plant. The larval stage lasts for around 14 days.

Melonworm Moth Caterpillar

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Pupa

The color of the pupa tends to be either light or dark brown. Pupation occurs inside a cocoon made of silk with a leaf or two folded in. Pupae tend to be 1.2-1.5 cm long and 0.3-0.4 cm wide. This stage lasts for 9-10 days.

Melonworm Moth Pupa

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Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

At the end of their abdomen, a bushy hair pencil is observed.

When the wings are opened, the center is an iridescent white color, with a brown border surrounding it. When the wings are closed, the colors remain observable.

Average wingspan: 2.5 cm

Flight pattern: Consistent

Season: October to November

Diaphania hyalinata

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Egg

Eggs tend to be initially greenish or white but become yellow later on. They are oval, flat, and are deposited in small clusters. These eggs are 0.07×0.06 cm in measurement.

Melonworm Moth Egg

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Quick Facts

DistributionCentral and South America and the Caribbean
HabitatCultivated land and fields
Lifespan of AdultsAround 1 week
Host PlantsCucurbit plants like cucumber, melon, and squash
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described this moth in 1767.
Melonworm Moth Image

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Melonworm

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Melonworm Moth Picture

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