Banana scab moth

Nacoleia octasema

The moth is small (25 mm wingspan) tan to light brown with small black spots on the wings.

Damage: Major and frequent.

Larval feeding causes superficial scarring on young fruit. Damaged areas form a black callous, rendering the fruit unmarketable. Feeding is generally confined to the curve of the fruit adjacent to the bunch stalk and between the fingers. Damage ceases after the hand lifts. Mature larvae can be found under the bracts enclosing the male flower or 'bell'.

This pest is most active during the hot wet summer months but sudden outbreaks can occur throughout the year in some localities. Damage occurs progressively as the hands lift and increases in severity towards the lower hands.

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