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Pasture day moth

Agronomist, Craig Drum (Elders), has observed caterpillars in a canola crop near Swan Hill, in the Mallee district of Victoria. They have been identified as pasture day moth (Apina callisto), which have been a significant problem across many areas this season, particularly in southern New South Wales. Craig estimates between 3-4 caterpillars per 10cm square were observed in some patches of capeweed.

Pasture day moths are generally a sporadic pest and commonly found in pastures. It is unclear why such high numbers have been observed this season, although the mild autumn conditions experienced across many areas may be partly responsible. Craig says the caterpillars do not appear to be causing any significant feeding damage to the canola crop, with only a few plants showing obvious signs of chewing.

Click here for images of pasture day moth caterpillars and refer to PestFacts Issue No. 5 for further information.

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