Duponchelia moth

Caterpillars cause severe damage to crops, including Kalanchoe, Begonia & Cyclamen. Prefers dense crops, so can hide, making challenging to control.

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  • Tiny eggs (0.5 mm) found at base of leaf or near veins, at base of the stalk
  • Larvae (20 to 30mm) are shiny and cream with dark head and a round, brown spot on their backs – tend to be well hidden in the crop
  • Pupae are found in cocoons (15 to 20mm) covered with substrate particles
  • Adult Duponchelia fovealis moths are light/dark brown, with cream stripes on upwardly curving abdomens. 
  • White wings have coiling stripe and span 9 to 12mm
  • With good flight capacity – moths can spread easily in a crop.

Life cycle

  • Fertilised females lay up to 200 eggs
  • Caterpillars hatch around 8 days later – within 4 weeks are fully grown and pupate
  • Pupal stage takes 1 to 2 weeks
  • Adult moths live up to 2 weeks.

Damage caused

  • Caterpillars search out high humidity and cause feeding damage to plant base, root neck and leaves - can also bore into the stem
  • In pot plants, also eats roots
  • Damaged plants wilt and diseases can enter through the wounds.


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