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Pest Information

Fan Palm Caterpillar

Fan Palm Caterpillar

  • Latin Name: Litoprosopus coachellae
  • Common Name: Fan Palm Caterpillar
  • Latin Family Name: Noctuidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Fan Palm Caterpillar
Fan Palm Caterpillar
Fan Palm Caterpillar

Origin:

Native to the western United States, and found primarily in the Southwest states of California and Arizona.

Biology:

The larvae of this moth feed on the blossoms of palm trees, and once they are ready to pupate they will move down the trunk to seek a protected location. If there are sufficient dead fronds on the tree the larvae chew fibers from them to construct their cocoon, but often may find their way into structures where they are known to cause extensive damage to clothing or carpets as they gather fibers for their cocoon.

Identification:

The larvae are relatively large, being about 1.5 inches long when mature, and they usually have a pink or pinkish-brown tint to them. The adults have light tan wings, with 2 darker lines across the forewings and with 2 dark eyespots at the lower edge of each hind wing.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Elimination of the larvae on exterior palm trees is necessary, and removal of blossoms early in their growth may be successful in preventing the presence of the larvae. Physical removal by vacuuming inside is effective, and possibly the application of a residual insecticide along exterior walls may intercept larvae that attempt to enter.

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