- Widespread distribution. Not in Americas. On a wide range of cultivated and wild fruits, including banana, citrus, 5-corner fruit, guava, mango, passionfruit, pineapple and, in outbreak years, capsicum, melon and tomato. An important pest.
- Adult moths do the damage, causing serious outbreaks on citrus (>70%), tomatoes, capsicum, 5-corner fruit. Adults have a 25 mm long, barbed feeding tube to pierce the fruit and suck out the juices. Rots develop from the holes.
- Eggs laid on Erythrina trees, where larvae feed. Note, a gall wasp has decimated trees in some countries, and moth populations have declined.
- Natural enemies: not always sufficient to stop outbreaks.
- Cultural controls: early harvests; fruit bagging, nets.
- Chemical control: not practical; moths have minimal contact with fruit, and sprays near harvest may leave residues. Not feasible to cut down Erythrina trees.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Citrus fruit piercing moth (113)
Photo 1. Adult fruit-piercing moth, Endocima fullonia. Note the red hind wings with the distinctive comma markings and black borders.
Photo 2. Fruit drop on orange caused by fruit piercing moth, Eudocima fullonia (Queensland). There is no fruit left on the tree!
Eudocima fullonia; previously Othreis fullonia
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press. Assistance; and from Wilco Liebregts (pers. comm), Eco-Consult Pacific, Fiji. Photo 1 Gerald McCormack, Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage. (http://cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/).
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production , implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.