What's Eating My Andreanum?

Phil Stager

Esteemed Member
Just noticed that something(s) within the past few days has eaten the top off an old Andreanum. See attached pics. Other crotons around it are untouched. No bugs, caterpillars, nymphs, larvae, detritus or any clues... Any thoughts?

First three pics show that both old and new leaves are gone; last two scans are of bottom and top of older leaf.


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Well-Known Member
Phil, that sure looks like caterpillar munch to me. I have experienced some similar random munch on isolated plants, not crotons yet, that are victims of the Io moth (before it is a moth, obviously). Don't know if you have Coconuts planted in proximity to your croton, even Adonidia and Veitchia are some of their top choices, but they will fall from the canopy of taller palms, and then target whatever they fall near or on. They can be here and gone in a couple of days. They are green fuzzy looking critters with red and white stripes that run on the entrie length of the top of the caterpillar. If you happen to see them, do not handle them with your bare hands, they will sting the s&!t out of you, much like the Saddleback caterpillars. You could always spray with B T just as a preventative treatment. Good luck with that!


Staff member
I would go with a caterpillar of some type as well. Although the other possibility might be a grasshopper/katydid type of critter. They have big appetites like that and can fly in for a meal and then leave - and also have a tendency to land near the tops of the plants.

Note that there are caterpillars that "sleep" in the soil near the trunk by day, and then come out and munch a lunch at night - so you never see them. A quick drench with an appropriate pesticide from a watering can can take care of them.


Esteemed Member
Hey, Phil, have you seen any Sri Lankan weevils? They are about half to three quarters inch and are greyish white. Their damage looks just like that. We have a few now and they love my crotons, especially the new foliage, but they can do a job on the mature foliage too. Once they get on a plant, they tend to stay on that plant, so it makes sense. If I see damage like that, or new foliage on the ground, I search the plant and I usually find one or two. That's all, usually. They are kinda slow, so I just use my little scissors I always carry around, and cut them in two. Problem solved. Look under leaves and along stems.

Look on internet for images of pest and notched leaf damage. It's just another pest on the list to consider.:(

Phil Stager

Esteemed Member
Thanks for the info. Looks like it was a one time event - and now I know about that Sri Lankan weevil too!