Friends in My Garden- 40

Banana Skipper

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Banana skipper

A ‘friend’ or a ‘foe’? This butterfly, my garden friend, is actually a pest.

Banana skipper or Palm redeye (Erionota thrax) is a pest of banana plants as these are the host plants for their larvae.
One fine morning I observed that the leaves of my banana plants are almost gone! Though I tried, could not locate the eggs. After hatching, the caterpillars move towards the outer edge of the leaf where they feed and roll the leaf to make a shelter. They also exude a fine white powdery material over their body and pupates in this leaf roll.

You can see the plant here, destroyed by the larvae.

Leaf roll- pupa
Host plant