Banana Moth Larvae Damage

Symptoms

Leaves collapsing around trunk, often with frass at the base of the palm (Fig. 1). In severe infestations, the crown of entire palms may collapse or fall off.

May be confused with

Weevil damage caused by Rhynchophorus sp. or Metamasius hemipterus is similar and may occur within the same palm infested with O. sacchari.

Cause

Damage is caused by feeding of larvae of the banana moth (Opogona sacchari) (Lepidoptera: Tineidae).

Occurrence

Slender-stemmed palms such as Chamaedorea sp. and Dypsis lutescens are common hosts in palm nurseries, but in the landscape, other species such as Wodyetia bifurcata and Cocos nucifera have been damaged, often severely.

Last updated May 2015

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