Cherry Spot Moth

Diaphone eumela

Cherry Spot Moth, Lily Borer

Diaphone eumela01 by Androstachys (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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An animal lying on the ground
Diaphone eumela01 by Androstachys (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 7
Diaphone eumela is a medium-sized, fluffy and vibrant Noctuid Moth. It's widespread across Africa with recordings in several countries. See them in open habitats comprising diverse vegetation. Like it's close relative, the Amaryllis Borer, the caterpillars feed almost exclusively on lilies. Although, they're sometimes found species in the Asparagaceae, Colchicaceae and Musaceae plant families. They don't appear to be as severe a pest as the Amaryllis Borer but may bore buds and stems.

Traits

A bright and beautifully marked moth.
May eat lily plants.

Appearance

Adults: Medium-sized (wingspan: 3.5cm). Can be variable depending on location, but all generally share one common feature, which is the C shaped spot on the hindwing with a white outline. The forewings are smoky grey and white with two transverse black lines. The wingtips are dashed with yellow and black. In the Cape, the thorax is fluffy grey with 6 yellow spots. Larvae: They begin pale yellow with bold black stripes. As they grow, they incorporate more orange, breaking the strips of black, which appear more like spots. The heads are shiny orange with black spots. Pupae: Unavailable. Eggs: Unavailable.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Noctuidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Cameroon, DRC, Uganda, Somalia, Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Angola.

Biological treatment

By regularly monitoring the high-risk plants in your garden (see below) you might be able to catch these pests before damage is made irreversible. If damage has already been done, not to worry, we've put together some tips and tricks that will help prevent another infestation in the following years. Always try to scarify and plough the soil before doing any planting. This will hopefully reveal any pupae or larvae hiding in the ground. Weeds and plant debris should be cleared two weeks to ten days before planting. Plant checks should be undertaken during the nighttime using a torch, or at dawn, this is when caterpillars will be most active. A range of insects and animals eat cutworms. Provide cover for beneficial insects by planting long wild grasses, wildflowers, climbers, hanging baskets and log piles. Many parasitic wasps and flies parasitise caterpillars. Likewise, ground beetles, lacewings, praying mantis, ants, and birds will all eat these insects. Before you sow your seeds, let your chickens loose on your veg patch. They will clear the area of grubs, caterpillars or any overwintering pupae. Diluted neem seed and leaf sprayed onto potato in regular intervals is proposed an effective treatment. Baits are most effective when other resources are limited. These can be purchased online or from garden retailers. Installing protective collars, made from plastic cups, bottles, or paper tubes, etc., can help protect the stems of young plants. Sticky substances are another barrier that can be effective at preventing caterpillars from reaching stems. Diatomite earth, sawdust, or crushed eggshells make good barriers to prevent caterpillars.

Attracts

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