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Fruit Piercing Moth

Othreis fullonia (Clerk)
Fruit Piercing Moth Fruit Piercing Moth



The fruit-piercing moth attacks many fruit and vegetable crops. Fruit crops attacked include apples, apricots, bananas, breadfruit, coffee, figs, grapefruit, guava, kiwifruit, litchi, longan, mandarins, mangoes, nectarines, oranges (especially navels), papaya, passion fruit, peaches, persimmons, pineapple, plums, and star fruit. Vegetable crops attacked include tomatoes and melons.


Commodities Affected:
Fruits and Vegetables



Damage caused by this pest is not only a result of the direct feeding of this moth but also by the fungal and bacterial infections that develop at the wound site. This moth is a known vector of Oospora citri, a fungus that rots the fruit and has a penetrating odor that attracts this moth. Other microorganisms that gain entrance into the fruit and cause rotting include Fusarium sp., Colletotrichum sp., and several types of bacteria. When moths are abundant green fruit is attacked, causing premature ripening and dropping of fruits. On oranges, a green fruit turns yellow at the site of the piercing and fungi soon develop within the wound. On tomatoes, the puncture of the tomato skin causes the fruit to turn white and quickly rot. Incidence of damage by this moth is normally low, however when outbreaks occur, most of the crop is affected.



The Fruit piercing moth is not known to occur in Indiana.