Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
the only species in this genus in North America
Adult: forewing golden yellow speckled with gray, and with gray and blackish shading beyond PM line and in strip along costa; PM line sharply and deeply indented near inner margin, and with conspicuous white spots along its length; discal spot white, squarish, bordered above and below by black-rimmed spot filled with ground color; hindwing bright yellow with prominent black discal spot and thick white jagged PM line, edged with black on both sides; abdomen reddish-brown with white band at base of each segment
Larva: first instar larvae have a brown body with dark brown to black head; later instars are cream-colored with scattered dark brown spots and dark orange head; larvae are rarely seen because they are normally hidden inside the host plant
Florida and along gulf coast to Louisiana and Texas
native to the Amazon basin; introduced as a biological control agent of water hyacinth
wet areas where water hyacinth grows
larvae bore in stems (petioles) and leaf buds of Common Water Hyacinth
Niphograpta albiguttalis was released at 20 sites in Florida in 1976 in an attempt to control the spread of water hyacinth, which clogs tropical waterways. The moth became established at or near 16 sites and continues to spread beyond those sites.
The species has also been introduced to Africa and Australia. Introductions have had mixed results, and there are other insects (such as the weevils Neochetina eichhorniae and N. bruchi) that have been found to be more effective in controlling the spread of water hyacinth.
Diacme species have less or no white on the forewing; Epipagis and Samea species have more white on the forewing
Moth Photographers Group
- photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems
- species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.