Tirathaba rufivena

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Coconut spike moth
Tirathaba rufivena (ento-csiro-au) cropped.png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Pyralidae
Genus: Tirathaba
Species: T. rufivena
Binomial name
Tirathaba rufivena
(Busck, 1916)[1]
  • Lamoria rufivena Walker, 1864
  • Harpagoneura acrocausta Meyrick, 1897
  • Mucialla fuscolimbalis Snellen, 1900
  • Harpagoneura distorta Turner, 1937
  • Melissoblaptes rufovenalis Snellen, 1880
  • Tirathaba ignivena Hampson, 1917

Tirathaba rufivena, the coconut spike moth, greater coconut spike moth or oil palm bunch moth, is a moth of the family Pyralidae. It is found from south-east Asia to the Pacific islands, including Malaysia, the Cook Islands, the Philippines and the tropical region of Queensland, Australia.[2] They are considered as a minor pest.



Wingspan is about 26-30 mm. Adults have dull green or brown forewings with thin red stripes running from the margin to the base. More or less developed annuli at middle and end of the cell connected by a white streak, sometimes with a spot in base of cell also joined by the white streak. The inner margin, vein 1, the interno-median interspace and veins beyond lower angle of cell streaked with crimson. A dark marginal line. The hindwings are plain pale yellow or orange yellow.[3]

Ecology and attack[edit]

The larvae is an agricultural pest that feeds on Cocos nucifera, Nypa fruticans, Elaeis guineensis, Musa species, and Phaseolus species. Usually the caterpillar attacks male flowers where infestation causes abortion of young, results underdeveloped fruits. A severe attack can wilt the plant and delay plant development. They are not borers, and only show external feeding.[4][5]


Living specimen

Biological control is the most effective method of controlling both larval and egg stages. Many different strains of parasites and pathogens are used, such as the entomoparasitic nematode Steinernema feltiae. The pathogens such as Beauveria bassiana, and Metarhizium anisopliae are also used in many regions. Agrophylax basifulva, a tachinid fly, is a known parasitoid used in Fiji. An ichneumonid Venturia palmaris are experimented in Malaysia, where they attack larva in November and December.[4]

Other than that, hand picking and other traditional methods are used in many countries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "tortricidae.com". tortricidae.com. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Australian Insects". Lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au. 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  3. ^ Hampson G. F. (1896). The Fauna Of British India Including Ceylon And Burma: Moths Vol. IV. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Coconut spike moth (Tirathaba rufivena)". Plantwise Knowledge Bank. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Greater Coconut Spike Moth". Butterfly House. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 

External links[edit]