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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

990340.0019340Eudocima phalonia (Linnaeus, 1763) – A Fruit Piercing Moth

- Christi Jaeger, MEM
Distribution: Africa, Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands, including Hawaii; not found in North America north of Mexico.
and Size:
This moth has been detected throughout the year with activity being lowest in the wet season and highest during the drier season, May to June, which is the main fruiting season.
Wing span 75-90 mm.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Larval hosts are primarily species of Menispermaceae and Erythrina (Fabaceae).
Adult hosts: fleshy fruits of more than 100 species, including citrus, banana, peach, plum tomato, apple, grapes and others.
Field Marks:
Both sexes of adult moths have a strongly sclerotized proboscis, allowing them to pierce, macerate, and then feed on juices of ripe fruits. Forewings with a diagonal white line from the dorsum near base to white triangle near middle; hindwing yellow with wide comma-shaped brown spot and broad brown band on apical margin.
Similar Species:
  • Tropical strays of E. apta and E. serpentifera have been detected in southern states to Midwest, but forewings of these species lack a white triangle near middle, and hindwings lack the combined charcters of brown comma spot and brown apical border.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
  • (1) Natural History Museum: HOSTS- website
  • (2) National Agricultural Pest Information System website
  • (3) Reddy, G.V.P., Cruz, Z.T., and Muniappan, R. 2007. Attraction of fruit-piercing moth Eudocima phalonia (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to different fruit baits. Crop protection. website
  • (4) Leong, S.C.T., and Kueh, R.J.H. 2011. Seasonal abundance and suppression of fruit-piercing moth Eudocima phalonia (L.) in a citrus orchard in Sarawak. The Scientific World. 11: 2330-2338.
  • (5) Davis, E.E., French, S. & Venette, R. 2005. Mini risk assessment Fruit piercing moth: Eudocima fullonia Green [Lepidoptera: Noctuidae]. APHIS-CAPS Pest Risk Analysis. website
  • (6) Species Page at BOLD Barcoding Project.
Eudocima phalonia
– Christi Jaeger, MEM - [T]

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