Restricted. Asia, Africa (Madagascar), Oceania. In Australia, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands.
Serious pest of upland and lowland rice. Also on maize, millet, oats, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat, wild grasses and sedges.
Larvae eat inside rolled margins of leaves creating whitish stripes. Fields look ‘scorched’. More active in wet seasons.
Eggs on underside of leaves, singly or in groups. Larvae, green when mature, up to 16 mm, light brown head, covered in brown hairs. Pupates in silken cocoon on the leaves. Adults golden-yellow, variable, 2-3 dark lines joining across fore and hindwings, wingspan 16 mm. Strong flyer, migrating back and forth across parts of Asia. Nocturnal.
Natural enemies: many egg and larval parasitoids and predators.
Cultural control: fallow land or rotate crops; do not over-fertilise; remove weeds within and around crops; do not ratoon crops; flood fields after harvest or plough in straw and stubble; resistant varieties.
Chemical control: best not to use insecticides, especially during first 40 days (plants recover from early damage). If needed, use neem, abamectin, or spinosad. Avoid broad-spectrum products.