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Port Interception Target - Larva

Tetramoera schistaceana (Snellen) (Tortricidae: Olethreutinae: Enarmoniini)

Common names: sugarcane gray borer, sugarcane shoot borer

Fig. 1: Male

Fig. 1: Male

Fig. 2: Female

Fig. 2: Female

Fig. 3: Male genitalia

Fig. 3: Male genitalia

Fig. 4: Female genitalia

Fig. 4: Female genitalia

Adult Recognition

FWL: 4.5-7.0 mm

Forewings are grayish brown with numerous longitudinal tan, gray, and brown lines. In fresh individuals the ocellus is outlined faintly in black and has numerous strong black dashes. Males lack a forewing costal fold.

Seven Tetramoera species are present in Asia and Australasia, all with similar wing patterns. A genitalic dissection can be used to confirm identity.

Larval Morphology

Last instar larvae are approximately 25 mm long with a pale whitish abdomen. The head is dark brown. Distinguishing features include: pinacula small and pigmented; abdominal SD1 and SD2 setae on same pinacula; L1 seta longer than L3 on abdomen; SV pinacula trisetose on A7 and bisetose on A9; anal comb absent.

Larvae of T. schistaceana are occasionally intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on sugarcane originating from Asia.


Females lay eggs singly or in small batches on leaves and leaf sheaths. Larvae tunnel into stems of young plants and create irregular tunnels near the surface. Larvae may also feed on leaves. Pupation occurs in a cocoon spun in a hole in the leaf sheath. Larval damage is characterized by distorted shoots, death of the meristem, and broken stems.

Host plants

Larvae of T. schistaceana feed primarily on sugarcane and are considered a major pest of sugarcane in Asia. This species is occasionally intercepted at U.S. ports of entry.

Family Genus/species Common name
Poaceae Saccharum officinarum L. sugarcane
Poaceae Saccharum spontaneum L. wild sugarcane
Poaceae Miscanthus Andersson silvergrass


Tetramoera schistaceana is distributed throughout Asia (China, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam, and several smaller islands). Diakonoff (1967) lists T. schistaceana as present in Madagascar and Hawaii but these records could not be confirmed.


BSES. [unspecified]. Dossier on Tetramoera schistaceana as a pest of sugarcane. [accessed 4 Oct 2011].

Diakonoff, A. 1967. Microlepidoptera of the Philippine Islands. U.S. National Museum Bulletin 257: 1-484.

Horak, M. 2006. Olethreutine moths of Australia (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, Vol. 10. 522 pp.

van der Geest, L. P. S., C. H. Wearing and J. S. Dugdale. 1991. Tortricids in miscellaneous crops, pp. 563-577. In: L. P. S. van der Geest, H. H. Evenhuis (eds.), Tortricid pests, their biology, natural enemies and control. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Williams, J. R. 1953. The larvae and pupae of some important Lepidoptera. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 43: 691-701.

Tortricids of Agricultural Importance by Todd M. Gilligan and Marc E. Epstein
Interactive Keys developed in Lucid 3.5. Last updated August 2014.