A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
December 2008. Papua New Guinea asked for confirmation of the identification of the insect that was found attacking sweet potatoes ‘along a range of a montain rainforest’. Is it Onchyrotica concursa? The damage is most severe at the top of the mountains, but it also extends down the valley slopes. Webs aoccur on other plants in the sweet potato plots. The problem appears to be most serious in October – it also occurred in 2007. The larvae mine the leaves, emerging at the final instar stage when they make webs on the infested leaves and pupate within them. The leaves are destroyed in the process.
Members thought it unlikely that the moth was a Pterophorid, more a Gelechida or Yponomeutidae. In East Africa, there is a Yponomeutid (possibily Y morbillosa), that simply covered large trees (Elaeodenron) with webs; however, they were heavily parasitized by Chalcid wasps (Brachymeria).
A photo of a pinned specimen, properly set, would be most helpful to assist with a provisional determination of the species, as well as providing a voucher record for future reference.