false codling moth

Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick)

Synonym(s): orange moth, citrus codling moth, orange codling moth

False codling moth is native to Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is not known to be established in North America. Main routes of introduction are larvae on fruits, pods, or flowers. There are more than 70 potential U.S. hosts including: okra, mallow, acacia, pineapple, pepper, tea, pecan, citrus, coffee, persimmon, fig, cotton, hibiscus, walnut, macadamia, mango, banana, olive, avocado, bean, yellowwood, apricot, plum, guava, pomegranate, oak, sorghum, and grape. The time for development is highly temperature defendant with up to five generations per year in South Africa. A female moth can lay up to 400 flattened-oval, pin-head sized eggs, usually placed singly. Young caterpillars are yellowish-white with dark spots. Larvae can grow to be 1/2 inch in length and are bright red or pink with a yellow-brown head. On citrus, young larvae mine into the fruit, causing premature ripening. External indications may be seen as scarring on the fruit. On cotton it first mines the boll wall, but later transfers to the seeds. This feeding habit leaves few indications of the feeding being done inside the seeds. When mature, the larva descends to the ground on a silken thread and spins a tough silken cocoon in the soil and duff. Males and female adults have distinctly different patterns. The wingspan ranges from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Both genders have patterns on the forewing of grey, brown, black and orange-brown markings. The male's hindwing is slightly reduced with a circular pocket of fine, hairlike black scales overlaid and broad, whitish scales in the anal angle.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

New Pest Response Guidelines: False Codling Moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta) - USDA APHIS