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

on 27th October 2016

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.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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