Parasa lepida, the Blue-striped Nettle Grub. 2. Food plants

posted in: Butterflies and Moths, Fauna | 0

Earlier posts: 1. Caterpillar.

The Blue-striped Nettle Grubs (Parasa lepida) can give an uncomfortable sting should you accidentally brush against them.

BSNettleGrub-lipstickP [wyc]

For years I did not encounter them in my garden until I introduced two Lipstick Palms (Cyrtostachys renda) bought from a nursery LINK. A few months later I found them on the leaflets of the palm (above).

Later I found them on my Coconut (Cocos nucifera) seedling. The video above shows the caterpillar feeding on the two palms.

Crescentia cujete fr

I also found the caterpillars on my Calabash Tree (Crescentia cujete) (above, below) as well as my Banana plant (Musa Cultivars).

According to Robinson et al. (2001), this caterpillar feeds on more than 100 species of plant from 38 families. They include trees, shrubs and herbs. Of these, Calabash Tree is a new record for the authors.

Considering the above, I am sure I would encounter these nasty caterpillars in more plant species in the near future. I would then have to be cautious when handling the plants, especially trimming. Although the sting is not painful, it is uncomfortable and there is always the possibility that for someone who is allergic to the sting it can be more than painful.

YC Wee
4th October 2016

Robinson, G.S., Ackery, P. R., Kitching, I. J., Beccaloni, G. W. & Hernandez, L. M. (2001). Hostplants of the moth and butterfly caterpillars of the Oriental Region. Natural History Museum, London and Southdene Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur. 744 pp.

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