Mystery larvae

Leptraps at Leptraps at
Mon Dec 31 08:32:13 EST 2001

Marks questions does have an answer:

There are two species of moths that feed an Oleander as a larval host. Synyomeida epilias and Empyreuma affinis. Both are Ctenuchinae (Arctiids). Snytomeida epilias is edemic to Florida and the larval feed on several species of plants. When Oleander was introduced to Florida, Syntomeida epilias found it an acceptable larval host and became a pest to the decorative plant. The latter, Empyreuma affinis, is common species on a number of the Carribean islands and founds its way to Florida about the time the short leaf Oleander was introduced in the late 1960's. It to is considered a serious pest. 

I believ that Syntomeida epilias has been found recently in Arizona. However, it may sooner or latter show up in California.


Leroy C. Koehn
Georgetown, KY


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