Eudocima phalonia

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Common fruit-piercing moth
Male in India
Scientific classification
E. phalonia
Binomial name
Eudocima phalonia
  • Othreis fullonica
  • Eudocima fullonia (Clerck, 1764)
  • Phalaena phalonia Linnaeus, 1763
  • Phalaena fullonia Clerck, 1764
  • Phalaena fullonica Linnaeus, 1767
  • Noctua dioscoreae Fabricius, 1775
  • Phalaena pomona Cramer, 1776
  • Ophideres princeps Boisduval, 1832
  • Ophideres obliterans Walker, 1858

Eudocima phalonia, the common fruit-piercing moth, is a fruit piercing moth of the family Erebidae. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1763 Centuria Insectorum. It is found in large parts of the tropics, mainly in Asia, Africa and Australia but introduced into other areas such as Hawaii, New Zealand and the Society Islands. It is one of major fruit pests in the world.[1]


The wingspan is about 80–94 mm in male. Palpi with third joint long and spatulate at extremity. Forewings with non-crenulate cilia in male, crenulate in female. Head and thorax reddish brown with plum-color suffusion. Abdomen orange. Forewings reddish brown, usually with a greenish tinge and irrorated with dark specks. An oblique antemedial line present, which is generally dark and indistinct but sometimes pale and prominent. Reniform indistinct. A curve postmedial line found, which is almost always met by an oblique streak from apex. Hindwings orange, with a large black lunule beyond lower angle of cell. There is a marginal black band with cilia pale spots runs from costa to vein 2. Ventral side of forewings with orange postmedial band.[2]

The wingspan is about 90–110 mm in female. Female has much more variegated and dark reddish brown striated forewings. Reniform dark and sending a spur along median nervure to below the orbicular speck. There is a triangular white mark usually present on the postmedial line below vein 3.[3]

Larva has dilated 11th somite and surrounded by a tubercle. Body purplish brown, where dorsum brown from 6th to 11th somites. Legs red and spiracular scarlet patches largest posteriorly and with some irregular white markings round them, on somite 9 in the form of an oblique white bar. There is a yellow sub-basal mark found on 4th somite. Fifth and sixth somites have black ocelli with yellow iris and white pupils. Two yellow patches can be seen on 11th somite.[3]

The adult is considered an agricultural pest, causing damage to many fruit crops by piercing it with its strong proboscis in order to suck the juice. Attempts have been made to control them using baits for the adults,[4] egg parasites and larval parasitoids.[5]


The larvae feed mainly on vines belonging to the Menispermaceae but have also adapted to species of Erythrina[6] and are known to feed on Erythrina crista-galli, Erythrina fusca, Erythrina variegata, Carronia multisepala, Hypserpa decumbens, Legnephora moorei, Pleogyne australis, Sarcopetalum harveyanum, Stephania aculeata, Stephania forsteri, Stephania japonica and Tinospora smilacina.[7]

Infected plant parts are mostly the fruits. Fruits show sap ooze out and internal feeding of the caterpillar. Fruits may show premature drop. Adults penetrate the skin or rind with a strong, barbed proboscis. Damaged parts become spongy and with many lesions.[8]



  1. ^ "Eudocima phalonia (Linnaeus)". Insects in Indian Agroecosystems. ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  2. ^ Hampson, G. F. (1894). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma: Moths Volume II. Taylor and Francis – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  3. ^ a b "Eudocima [Othreis] phalonia Linnaeus [fullonia Clerck]". The Moths of Borneo. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  4. ^ Reddy, G.V.P.; Cruz, Z.T.; Muniappan, R (2007). "Attraction of fruit-piercing moth Eudocima phalonia (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to different fruit baits". Crop Protection. 26 (4): 664–667. doi:10.1016/j.cropro.2006.06.004.
  5. ^ Sands, D.P.A.; Liebregts, W.J.M.M.; Broe, R.J. (1992). "Biological control of the fruit piercing moth, Othreis fullonia (Clerck) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the Pacific". Biological Control of Exotic Pests in the Pacific, XIX International Congress of Entomology, June 1992, Beijing.
  6. ^ Reddy GVP; Cruz ZT; Bamba J; R Muniappan (2005). "Host adaptation of the fruit piercing moth, Eudocima fullonia". Physiological Entomology. 30 (4): 398–401. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3032.2005.00465.x.
  7. ^ Herbison-Evans, Don & Crossley, Stella (10 April 2016). "Eudocima fullonia (Clerck, [1874]) Fruit Piercing Moth". Australian Caterpillars and their Butterflies and Moths. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Fruit-piercing moth (Eudocima fullonia)". Plantwise Technical Factsheet. Retrieved 18 August 2016.

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