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Spiny Bollworm Moth

Earias biplaga


This small moth comes from the Nolidae family whose main distinguishing feature is a silk cocoon with a vertical exit slit. While considered to have dull markings, these moths are exquisit when viewed in full sunlight especially the emerald varieties.This particular moth was photographed having emerged from its silk cocoon and slowly strengthening its wings with them in an upright position on a lavender plant leaf. Sometime after, it was photographed again with its wings fully dry and and reset to a standard position. In this final position, the dark brown terminal frindge on the forewing can be seen surrounded by a sea of green/yellow. Bollworm larvae feed on plants of Fabaceae (legumes) and Malvaceae (mallows) species making it a substancial pest of cotton and cacao. In this case the larvae were most likly feeding on Hibiscus or Rosemallow plants of wich there were plenty in the suburban area.


Found in subtropical Africa as well as atlantic shores and indian islands. In the western cape in urban gardens and open fynbos where food plants grow. Usually in this case around Hisbiscus plants in gardens.


Happy Moth Week Project Noah!!! Very lucky find as the Western Cape is in the middle of a very cold and thankfully wet winter whitn most inscet based life going to ground :)

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Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom a year ago

Hi Neil !! Many thanks for the comment. Yes we are very thankfull for a good wet season even though it is much colder than usual. Had some lovely waterfalls off table mountain yestersday that was a first for most of us.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Beautiful spotting, Michael. So glad to hear Cape Town's getting some rain.

Michael Strydom
Spotted by
Michael Strydom

Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Jul 22, 2019
Submitted on Jul 22, 2019

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