Widespread distribution. Tropics of Asia, Oceania. On cabbages, tomato, okra, chilli, cassava, maize, sweetpotato, rice, eggplant, watercress, and more. An important pest.
Egg masses on either side of the leaves. Young caterpillars strip the leaf surface; older ones eat the leaves including the leaf stalks. Mostly feeding at night.
The moth is a strong flyer.
Cultural control: check for egg masses regularly, and destroy them by hand; allow chicken in the field.
Natural enemies: predators and parasitoid wasps. Effective unless disturbed by cyclones or droughts.
Chemical control: PDPs - neem, derris, pyrethrum or chilli; spinosad or Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) on young caterpillars. Alternatively, use synthetic pyrethroids, but they are likely to kill natural enemies.