Saturday, 26 May 2012

A pest with a crest

Found a small moth this morning hiding away for the day, down the throat of a bromeliad and it looked interesting so coaxed it out into the light for a photo, before returning to its hiding place.
In the sunlight it proved even more eye catching as patches on the wings shone bright gold, but unfortunately the photos don't pick up the shine.

The large greenish patch shines like white-gold and the smaller bronze spot in the centre of the wing shines with a rose-gold hue. The tufted crests were the features that first caught my attention.
Checking the ID and came up with a Soybean Looper moth Thysanoplusia orichalcea, which can be a agricultural pest as the common name would suggest. The caterpillars feed on not only soybeans but also potato plants, parsley and chrysanthemums.


  1. A beautiful moth Ian - what a shame it can be an agricultural pest. Thanks to your lovely description I can just imagine the shine on its wings.

  2. It was a surprise when the wings were shining in the sunlight and unfortunately there are a large number of moths that cause considerable crop losses, this being just one and a pretty one at that.