Biosecurity threat, not present in Australia

Lawana imitata

White moth bug


Many of the insects depicted on these pages are outwardly similar and you should not use photographs as the sole means of identification. These pages form part of a scientific key which will assist a trained entomologist to identify the species accurately.

Lawana imitata  (Melichar, 1902)

Common Name: White moth bug

Subfamily/Tribe: Flatinae/Lawanini

Distribution: Vietnam, China (incl. Hong Kong).

Economic status: Lawana imitata is a polyphagous pest of citrus, tea, mango, and cashew. Of further concern are reports of L. imitata on an Australian Acacia in China (Wang et al. 1998), which suggests that, if introduced to Australia, it could easily spread utilizing the ~1000 Acacia species. This also suggests that L. imitata could become both an agricultural and environmental pest.

Notes: Interestingly this flatid is utilized as a food source in China (Chen et al. 2009).  Lawana imitata features two yellow stripes on the forewing, which appears to be common in Lawana, but are not present in any known Australian species. The genus, which includes 24 species, is not present in Australia. If you believe that you have a species of Lawana, please have the identification verified by a trained taxonomist.