Pea blue butterfly (Lampides boeticus)
It is a pest of peas during the flowering and podding stages. The adult is a butterfly bright blue (males) to brown (females) in colour. They have small tails at the edge of the hind wings, and two eye-like spots near each tail. The wing undersides are sandy-brown with creamy transverse bands. The moth lays eggs singly on the shoots, on or near the young flowers. Upon hatching the small caterpillars are yellow in colour, and are very active feeding first inside the flower and then inside the developing pod eating the young seeds. On small pods the caterpillar makes a hole in the pod wall in order to reach the seeds. Older caterpillars are grub-like green or pear white in colour and reach up to 15 mm when fully-grown. Pupation takes place amongst debris and leaves on the ground, under stones, or even in a curled-up, withered leaf on the plant.
- Conserve natural enemies. Parasitic wasps and flies attack caterpillars and are important for the natural control of this pest.