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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

990582.00 – 19582 – Pectinophora scutigera (Holdaway, 1926)

© Todd Gilligan
Distribution: Australia; not found in North America north of Mexico.
and Size:
Vickers (1982) suggests that four generations can be completed in Australia, beginning at squaring in November and ending at harvest in late April.
Larva and
Host Plants:
In Australia and Hawaii, larvae have been recorded feeding on Gossypium and Hibiscus.

Field Marks:
Basal two thirds of forewing light brown to brown with dark brown spots. Apical third dark brown with a broken light brown line in the middle. Hindwings grey-brown, with like-colored fringe getting progressively lighter towards the anal veins.
Similar Species:
  • Very similar to P. gossypiella and can only be separated by genitalia. See P. gossypiella genitalia here P. gossypiella larvae can be differentiated from P. scutigera by the crotchets on the abdominal prolegs, which are arranged in two transverse bands, and the anal crotchets as being divided into two groups.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
  • (1) Natural History Museum: HOSTS- A Database of the World’s Lepidopteran Hostplants website
  • (2) Holdaway, F.G. 1929. Confirmatory Evidence of the Validity of the Species Pectinophora scutigera, Holdaway (Queensland Pink Bollworm), from a Study of the Genitalia. Bulletin of Entomological Research. Vol. 20
  • (3) Vickers, R.A. 1982. Rates of development of the immature stages of Pectinophora scutigera (Holdaway)(Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) with data on the head-capsule widths of field and laboratory reared larvae. See abstract here
  • (4) Gilligan, T.M., and Passoa. 2014. LepIntercept- An identification resource for intercepted Lepidoptera larvae. USDA-APHIS-PPQ Identification Technology Program (ITP). Fort Collins, CO. Available here
Pectinophora scutigera
– © Christi Jaeger, MEM
Pectinophora scutigera
– © Todd Gilligan

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