Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
Avicennia seed moth
Autoba alabastrata
Family Noctuidae

Adult wingspan:
18 mm

Adults are rarely seen, but the larva is a serious pest of Avicennia alba.
close-up of green fruit showing holes
Avicennia alba fruit freshly bored by Autoba larva

close-up of dried up fruit damaged by larva
Damaged fruit
(note large bore hole), held onto tree
by silken threads
It bores into mature fruit and webs it to the nearby stem, and by feeding, destroys the fruit's embryo. Even when the fruit detaches from the tree, it is held back by the silk, while the larva hollows out the fruit. Without this, the larva would drown when the fruit falls into the water for the bore hole is large and the fruit would be flooded.
close-up of adult
Adult moth
dorsal view

close-up of dissected fruit showing larva feeding
Larva feeding
in a split Avicennia alba fruit
Each larva can destroy up to eight fruits and finally pupates in the last one. An infected tree is typically covered with shrivelled fruit.

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What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre