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Coconut moth facts for kids

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Coconut moth
LEPI Batrachedridae Batrachedra arenosella.png
Scientific classification
B. arenosella
Binomial name
Batrachedra arenosella
(Walker, 1864)
  • Gracilaria arenosella Walker, 1864
  • Batrachedra psilopa Meyrick, 1907

Batrachedra arenosella, the coconut moth or armoured scale eating caterpillar, is a species of moth of the family Batrachedridae found in India, Indonesia, Malaya, and Réunion, as well as New Zealand and Australia, from the Northern Territory and northern Queensland to New South Wales and South Australia. B. arenosella was first described by Francis Walker in 1864.

The wingspan is about 10 mm. Adults' forewings are speckled brown, and have fringes along the inner margin that are longer than the width of the rest of the wing. The hindwings are narrower, and have fringes along the costa and even longer ones along the inner margin. The antennae are longer than the forewings.

The larvae have been reported damaging flowers of coconut palms, but other records suggest the larvae feed on seeds of Juncus species or are predatory. Larvae have been found living in a webbing on a Eucalyptus species. They have been found feeding on small scale insects living there.

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