?Fruit piercing moth, PNG Minimize

March 2009. Problem on citrus were mentioned from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. The symptoms shown in the photos are causing a farmer's citrus fruits to fall prematurely. It appears that they were pierced by a sap-sucking insect causing the fruit to decay and fall, but no likely cause was seen on the trees during the day, hence the damage may be caused by fruit piercing moths. Any comments on the cause of the problem and management strategies.

It was also said that the farmer has one or two fluorescent lights near the trees; perhaps these are luring the moths to the citrus.

Members thought the damage looked very much like that of fruit piercing moth. There are several species in PNG besides Eudicima (=Othreis) fullonia. Perhaps it is best to advise the farmer to check the tree(s) from shortly after sunset to about 8-9 pm, when the moths are most active.

A good way to control them is by placing a net over the fruiting trees - but that of course incurs expenses which may not be afforded by small scale and subsistence farmers.

Technical note on nomenclature for Eudocima phalonia

Holloway (2005: p.258) reluctantly followed the reinstatement of the senior synonym phalonia Linnaeus, 1763 for fullonia Clerck, [1764] 1759, by Zilli & Hogenes (2002) even though in the economic and agricultural entomology literature this insect has been known solely by the name fullonia for at least six decades and several parties believed (and probably still do) that in the interests of taxonomic stability it would be better to retain the junior synonym.

Holloway JD (2005) Moths of Borneo: Family Noctuidae, subfamily Catocalinae. Malayan Nature Journal 58:1-529. Zilli A, Hogenes W (2002) An annotated list of the fruit-piercing moth genus Eudocima Billberg, 1820 (sensu Poole) with descriptions of four new species (Lepidotpera: Noctuidae, Catocalinae). Quadrifina 5:153-207.