Distribution map Copyright Martin Evans
 Life stages table Copyright Martin Evans  Distribution map Copyright Martin Evans


74.0121 Spiny Bollworm Earias biplaga (Walker, 1866)


Similar species: Spiny Bollworm is green or yellow with a dark purplish-brown fringe. It often has a dark reddish-brown elongated blotch on the trailing edge, between the central cross-lines, but this is not always present.

Egyptian Bollworm Earias insulana is of a similar size (10 to 11mm), either green or beige and may have a similar blotch on the dorsal, but it has a green or pale-orange fringe rather than dark purplish-brown.

Forewing: 9 to 12mm

Habitats: Arid areas and arable fields.

Habits: The two records that may be genuine immigrants are from Lymington, Hampshire on 23rd July 1982 and Dungeness, Kent on 11th September 1999. There have been other records are from Buckingham Palace as an accidental import in 1964 and larvae from Stanstead and Heathrow airports on produce in 1979. The moth comes to light.

Foodplant: The early stages have not been recorded in the wild in Britain, although larvae have been found on imported Okra at airports. In sub-Saharan Africa it feeds internally on Wattles Acacia spp., on plants in the mallow family including Sterculia, Abutilon and Hibiscus, legumes, Cotton, Cocoa, Okra and other plants.