Narrow distribution. Southeast Asia, Hawaii and Oceania. On sugarcane and relatives, but also banana and palms (betel nut). An important pest.
Eggs laid in cavities, cracks, wounds in stems and leaf bases. Larvae bore into stems, feeding on pith, causing low sugar content and stems to lodge. Tunnels allow entry of rot-causing fungi (see Fact Sheet no. 278).
Worse since fields not burnt, and chips used as mulch.
Spread by flying adults; in setts; in shredded leaves and stalks for mulch; and in the trade for nursery plants.
Cultural control: use traps, or carry out random monitoring of stools; inspect setts for holes; avoid excessive N; rat control; avoid sugarcane mulches; tolerant varieties.