Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Poinciana looper moth (251)

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  • Narrow distribution. Southeast Asia, North America (Hawaii), Oceania. On poinciana, Acacia, Cassia and Leucaena. An important pest.
  • Egg on leaflets; at first, caterpillars feed together, later solitary, up to 7 cm, with “neck” region behind a large head, and white band along the back. Adults are brown, with wavy lines on wings.
  • Damaging: frequent stripping of leaflets causes dieback, and loss of vigour and encourages borers.
  • Cultural control: it is possibly that weather is more important than natural enemies.
  • Chemical control: Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is effective but likely to be uneconomic in most situations.
Common Name

Poinciana looper moth

Scientific Name

Pericyma cruegeri

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson 
Information (and Photos 1,4&9) from Thaman R, Dutt R (2019) The 2019 Fiji poinciana looper moth invasion: A call for action. PaCE-SD Technical Report 1. Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development. University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. ( Photos 2,3,5&6 Sione Foliaki, Deputy Director and Head of Agricultural Research and Information Division, MAF, Tonga. Photo 7 Simione Tukidia, SPC, Fiji. Photo 8 BIO/CSIRO Photography Unit.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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