Giant wood moth

  • the giant wood moth is responsible for significant damage in some hardwood tree stems.
    the giant wood moth is responsible for significant damage in some hardwood tree stems.
  • Giant wood moth exit hole
    Giant wood moth exit hole

General information

Plantation productivity can be affected by giant wood moth attacks, which weaken trees and makes them susceptible to wind-break. Giant wood moth damage can also reduce the quality of harvested logs.  The moth attacks trees over three years old.

Scientific name

Endoxyla cinereus

Description
  • The larvae are large, up to 10 cm long and 2-3 cm wide, creamy with pinkish stripes and a brown head, and tunnel in sapwood and heartwood while feeding.
  • Adults are large with a wingspan of 25 cm but are rarely seen.
  • The first sign of activity in a tree is often a pile of coarse frass (similar to sawdust) at the base of the stem.
  • The stem around the entrance hole is often swollen.
  • The larvae feed singly in J-shaped tunnels in both sapwood and heartwood.
  • Before the moths emerge in midsummer, a large, circular exit hole (3-5 cm diameter) is created above the smaller entrance hole, which is often plugged with frass.
  • Empty pupal cases may be seen protruding from emergence holes during summer.
Distribution
  • The giant wood moth is found in New South Wales, southeastern to northern Queensland and recorded 200 km inland at Theodore.
Hosts
  • Gympie messmate - Eucalyptus cloeziana
  • rose gum - Eucalyptus grandis and hybrids
  • Dunn's white gum - Eucalyptus dunnii
  • Grey gum - Eucalyptus longirostrata.
Damage
  • Tunnels made by the larvae weaken smaller stems, which can snap in strong winds.
  • Yellow-tailed black cockatoos tear into stems when feeding on wood moth larvae, further damaging and weakening the tree.

Resources

  • PaDIL - Pests and Diseases Image Library
  • Pest Genie - For current information on pesticides registered for use in forestry

Last updated 05 March 2013