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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

A critical review of the literature on the pest Erionota spp. (Lepidoptera, Hesperiidae): taxonomy, distribution, food plants, early stages, natural enemies and biological control.


The classification, taxonomy, distribution, spread, food plants, early stages, natural enemies and biological control of South-East Asian Erionota spp. (Hesperiidae, Hesperiinae, incertae sedis) are reviewed with specific attention to Erionota thrax (Linnaeus), Erionota torus Evans and Erionota acroleuca (Wood-Mason and de Nicéville) (= E. hiraca (Moore)). Erionota thrax and E. torus are shown to be pests of Musa spp. but not palms, while E. acroleuca is a pest of various palms. Where they overlap in distribution in mainland South-East Asia and the Southern Philippines, E. thrax and E. torus have not been distinguished in the economic literature. The species which became established in Mauritius around 1968 and subsequently the target of a successful biological control programme is shown to be E. torus, and not E. thrax as hitherto reported. Research gaps are identified, including the need to find diagnostic features or tools to separate the immature stages of the three species in order to confirm these conclusions, and clarify the ecology and pest status of the pest species.