Levuana iridescens Bethune-Baker

Levuana Moth (Levuana iridescens)

The Levuana Moth was described in 1906; it is only known from the island of Viti Levu, Fiji; it is, however, almost certainly not native and more likely originates from some place west to the Fijian Islands, maybe Vanuatu.

the species has a wingspan of about 1.6 cm; its head and the thorax are steely blue; the abdomen is ochreous; the forewings are iridescent blue and somewhat subhyaline, so are the hind wings.

The larvae feed upon the leaves of coconut palms (Cocos nucifera L.) and therefore, the Levuana Moth was considered a serious pest for Coconut plantations and thus for the copra production.

Because of that, a biological control program was started in 1925 to solve the problem, this involved the introduction of the Malayan Tachinid Fly (Bessa remota (Aldrich)) and was a total ‘success’ as it led to the complete extinction of the moth species.


Depiction from: PaDIL


edited: 17.02.2024