The wingspan is 25 mm. Females are somewhat larger than the males. Adults have pale yellow forewings, each with one or more dark spots. The hindwings are white.
The larvae feed on Chaetochloa verticellata, Echinochloa crusgalli cruspavonis, Echinochloa stagnina, Eleusine indica, Panicum barbinode, Paspalum conjugatum and rice. They bore the stems of their host plants, and therefore are also called Rice stem borer. The larvae are yellow, with five, dim, longitudinal lines, and can grow to a length of about 25 mm. They are a serious pest of rice and are largely responsible for the great reduction in the rice growing acreage in Hawaii.
Pupation takes place in a stem of the food plant.
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