This year, tomatoes in the home vegetable garden suffered quite a bit from caterpillar damage to the fruit. Then, rain and high humidity as the fruit were ripening was causing the tomatoes to split, so they were picked when just pink and allowed to finish ripening up indoors. In the late evening a moth was noticed on the wall, and closer inspection showed it to be the Eggfruit Caterpillar moth, Sceliodes cordalis, (Crambidae) that doesn’t confine its nefarious activities to aubergines but is quite happy to lay its eggs on tomatoes. This species can live happily and then pupate inside its host fruit virtually undetected, before emerging as an adult, which this specimen appears to have done.
Click to enlarge.
This larva is so far unidentified. Many were found in August in the Omeo Gum, Eucalyptus neglecta, in their shelters made of two leaves held together with silk and frass.
The next four species have been illustrated in previous posts but are included again for this series on larvae. Follow the links for more images and information.
Ochrogaster lunifer, the Processionary Caterpillar.
Pararguda nasuta, the Wattle Snout Moth.
Pernattia pusilla, the Casuarina Moth.
Trichiocercus sparshalli, Sparshall’s Moth, (Notodontidae)
That concludes this small series on larvae. The recently published book Caterpillars Moths And Their Plants of Southern Australia, by Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc. is a must have for study of this topic.