Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Ramie moth (358)

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  • Restricted distribution. Hosts are the nettle family (Bohmeria species). Ramie is a fibre crop, also used as fodder. In Fiji, on overripe bananas.
  • Larvae defoliate plants, stripping leaves to the veins. Large, up to 10 cm, black and yellow with long white hairs. Moth has blue patterns on hindwings.
  • Cultural control: avoid over overlapping crops, and planting new crops nest to old; leave 3 months between crops; monitor x2 weekly, and consider hand picking (rather than insecticides); collect and burn crop remains after harvest.
  • Chemical control: use botanicals to safeguard natural enemies (chillies, neem, derris, pyrethrum); in commercial plots, use microbials [spinosad, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki)] sprays against caterpillars when young. Avoid pyrethroids and organophosphates.
Common Name

Ramie moth, banana moth (name given in this fact sheet). The name ramie is a common name for the main host, Boehmeria nivea.

Scientific Name

Arcte coerula; previously, Cocytodes coerulea. It is a member of the Noctuidae.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson & Mani Mua
Information Coffs Harbour Butterfly House. (; and (Photos 1-3) from Liangbin  Zeng, et al. (2016) Transcriptome analysis of ramie (Boehmeria nivea L. Gaud.) in response to ramie moth (Cocytodes coerulea Guenée) infestation. BioMed Research International. Article ID 3702789 ( Photo 4 Masaki Ikeda, Japan. ( Photo 5 Patrick Randall, Ramie moth, Arcte coerulea (Guenee, 1952), Norwood, MA. ( Photo 6 Alexey Yakovlev, Moscow, Russia. ( Photo 7 CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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