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Skull-face moringa caterpillar | by arian.suresh
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Skull-face moringa caterpillar

Eupterote cf. mollifera, Family: Eupterotidae


Eupterotidae is a family of moths in the Lepidoptera order with more than 300 described species.


This caterpillar is destructive and specific pest of drumstick in South India. These Caterpillars feed gregariously by scrapping bark and gnawing foliage. Severe infestation results in complete defoliation of the tree. Adults are large-sized moths with light yellowish-brown wings having faint lines. Moths appear with onset of monsoon and lay eggs in clusters on leaves and tender stems. Egg period lasts for 6 days. Full-grown caterpillars are brownish in colour and densely hairy. Larval and pupal periods last for 12 to 14 and 8 to 10 weeks respectively. Pupation takes place in soil. Only one generation per year.


The urticating hair caused skin swelling and 2 days of itching for me.

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Taken on February 7, 2015