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Crops > Fruits & nuts > Dragon fruit > Caterpillar (Crambidae), Dragon fruit, El Salvador
February 2013. A caterpillar on dragon fruit sent from El Salvador for identification.
There were several suggestions:
Maruca, but even though it looks like it, there is need to breed it out
Actually, there is only one species of Marucain the Americas: Maruca vitrata(Fabricius). So, if it were not the legume pest, M. vitrata, it would not be a Marucasp. It think it would be safer to treat it as an unidentified Crambidae.
It was also said that there is a crambid recorded from Hylocereusin Costa Rica: Maracayia chlorisalis(Walker) (Crambidae, Pyraustinae) (http://janzen.sas.upenn.edu/), although I don’t know the appearance of the caterpillar or details of its biology. The adult should be compared with this species.