Cedar Shoot Borer
Hypsipyla robusta (Moore)
(Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

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The cedar shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta is widely distributed in the Tropics of the old world. The main larval foodplants belong to the family Meliaceae. The cedar shoots are tunnelled longitudinally or other succulent parts of the host are mined by the caterpillars. A caterpillar can infest several shoots during its larval instars. The completion of the life cycle takes about two months. As a result of the attack, the shoot tip wilts and the plant develops lateral branches with multiple leaders. If the attack sustains, the stem becomes crooked and twisted. Furthermore the growth increment decreases and the timber quality is very poor. Effective control measures are not available, therefore teak is not planted on a large scale in Papua New Guinea. Trials using an insecticide in a slow release formulation showed some protection during the initial susceptible growth period of the host plant. However, alternative control methods such as the use of a suitable biocontrol agent seem to be much more promising. Cooperative research between FRI and CSIRO aims to utilize Hypsipyla-resistant plant material in an attempt to overcome the problem



(reproduced from Gray, B. and Wylie, F.R., 1974)

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Michael F. Schneider, 1999