Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Chinese Banana Skipper, Erionota torus (Evans)

The Banana Skippers are moderately common in localities where its foodplant banana is cultivated or growing wild. The larvae can easily be singled out in tell-tale rolled banana leaves. They sometimes enter houses in the evening, attracted to the lights of the house, being crespuscular in habits. In Malaysia, 2 species of closely ressembling Erionota exist in the same localities and E. torus can be differentiated from E. thrax by its squarish spot 3 of the forewing (see pix below). From observations, the pupas tend to be more readily found in the wetter months from Nov - Feb (growth spurts of wild bananas due to rain?)

Habitat indicator
RSP
WV
PG
VF
FTR
SC
LWDF
LWPF
LMEF
UMN
MN



x
x
 x

 x



Frequency observation chart: (S marks the usual occurences, H marks an unusually high occurence, F for first record)

2014
2015
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mac
Apr
May
June
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
S
S
S
S
S
S











 Above photos of the final instar caterpillar, covered with a white waxy substance akin to the white powder under a clean banana leaf. This caterpillar was taken from an infected wild banana plant along a forested path @ 600M

the pupa in the rolled-up banana leaf...

The pupa eclosed in the early hours of the morning...


Notice the rather squarish spot 3 on the forewing


It was released into the garden under a Calathea shrub: 01 Nov 2014 @ 8:15


Above pix of infested banana leaves - the sides are "torn away" to form the cigar-like rolled-up nest of the caterpillars

This one eclosed at noon on 28 Nov 2014.

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