Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Cactus Moth
Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg, 1885)

Family: Pyralidae
Subfamily: Phycitinae
Identification: The adult cactus moths are non-descript brownish-gray moths that can only be definitively identified by a microscopic examination of dissected male genitalia, although the native species differ from Cactoblastis in having a more plumose antenna. Mature larvae are predominantly red or orange, and this color is interrupted by dark banding or spots on the body.
Wing Span:
Life History: Adult females lay eggs on top of one another, forming an egg stick that resembles a cactus spine. Larvae feed by burrowing into a pad. Their activity can kill the host plant.
Flight: Three flights in the southeastern United States: late March - May, July - August, and late September - mid-November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Pricklypear cacti (Opuntia spp.)
Adult Food:
Range: Native to Argentina, now found in the southeastern United States.
Management Needs: Prevention of further spread of this invasive species is a high priority. For more information, contact the Cactus Moth Detection and Monitoring Network.
Comments: NULL
Get your BAMONA Gear!

Hoodies and t-shirts in two designs!

Advertise with us!

Do you have a product or service that you think would interest BAMONA users? If you would like to advertise on this website, contact us by email, or use the contact form and select the "Advertising" category.