Larvae of the Cactus Moth on a thornless prickly pear in our garden at Jansenville in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Larwe van die turksvymot in ons tuin op Jansenville.

Cactoblastis cactorum, commonly known as the Cactus Moth, South American Cactus Moth, or Nopal Moth, is native to South America. This species has been introduced into South Africa to control prickly pears (Opuntia). Larvae will typically spend two months within the host cactus during the summer, and approximately four months during the winter. Mature larvae exit the cactus pad to form cocoons. They pupate under debris on the ground at the base of the plant. As soon as the moths emerge, they search a mate, and usually reproduce three to four times within their lifetime. (Wikipedia)

Die volwasse larwes van die turksvymot is redelik bekend by turksvy plante wat besmet is. Die oranje wurms met swart strepe word binne-in die blaaie gevind, waar hulle voed op die sagte plantweefsel en die blaar uithol totdat die plant mettertyd ineen stort. Die larwes kom gewoonlik van September tot ongeveer Mei voor.

Camera: CanonEOS 500D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens

My husband and I live in Jansenville in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. We both love nature, and therefore most of my subjects are the incredible wealth of fauna and flora in Southern Africa. I also write poetry in Afrikaans (one of the eleven official languages in South Africa) and often combine these poems with the photos I’ve taken. Thank you for stopping by!

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  • jozi1
    jozi1almost 2 years ago

    Amazing close up,Rina :)

  • Thank you: they were ‘spinning’ a fine thread all over the prickly pear leaves for a while and then settled all as a group together, to munch into the leave!

    – Rina Greeff

  • jozi1
    jozi1almost 2 years ago


    – Rina Greeff

  • zumi
    zumialmost 2 years ago

    very nice capture! great details

  • Tank you: much appreciated!

    – Rina Greeff

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