Australian Wildlife

  Lucerne Seed Web Moth (Etiella behrii)

Lucerne Seed Web Moth | Etiella behrii photo
tiella behrii, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory

Image by Donald Hobern - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)


Lucerne Seed Web Moths are small grey brown moths with a pale stripe along the leading edge of each forewing. There is an orange brown band across each forewing about a third of the way along. The hindwings are whitish grey. When at rest the wings are folded along the length of the body. The moth holds its palps in front of the head, giving the appearance of a snout. The eggs are small (about 0.6mm in diameter) and cream. The larvae are cream or pale green and a dark head. As they mature the larvae become green with pink stripes and a brown head.

Adult moth length 12mm, wingspan 22mm - 22mm

The Lucerne Seed Web Moth is an agricultural pest on various members of the pea family. Crops attacked include peanuts, soybeans, mung beans, lucerne and garden peas. Seeds are usually partially eaten with pin-hole damage

The female Lucerne Seed Web Moth lays her eggs on seed pods or flowers. The newly hatched larvae move over the pant to find a pod to feed in, and on peanut plants will locate underground pods. The larvae bore into pods to feed and complete their development in the seed pod before emerging through a pin hole sized exit about 2mm in diameter. The life cycle from egg to adult can be as short as four weeks.

The Lucerne Seed Web Moth is found in south-east Asia and in all states of Australia.

Common Name:Lucerne Seed Web Moth

Relatives in same Genus
  Lima Bean Pod Borer (E. zinckenella)