Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Prays citri
(citrus flower moth)

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Datasheet

Prays citri (citrus flower moth)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Prays citri
  • Preferred Common Name
  • citrus flower moth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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    Compendia
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    OX10 8DE
    UK
    compend@cabi.org
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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Prays citri Millière

Preferred Common Name

  • citrus flower moth

Other Scientific Names

  • Acrolepia citri Millière

International Common Names

  • Spanish: pallomilla de las flores; polilla de los agrios; polilla de los cítricos
  • French: teigne des fleurs de l'oranger; teigne des fleurs d'oranger
  • Portuguese: traca do limoeiro

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Motte, Citrus-; Motte, Zitrus-
  • Israel: ash pirchei haadar
  • Italy: tignola degli agrumi; tignola del cedro
  • Netherlands: Pokrups, geele
  • Turkey: turuncgil cicek guvesi

EPPO code

  • PRAYCI (Prays citri)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Yponomeutidae
  •                             Genus: Prays
  •                                 Species: Prays citri

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page P. citri was first described by Millière in 1873. According to Vives (1992), P. nephelomima is not a synonym of this pest. P. nephelomima is endemic to Brunei, Australia and the Western Pacific (Robinson et al., 1994), and is considered to be a different species (Nielsen et al., 1996). Identifications of Prays citri on Citrus from east of Turkey and the Middle East are all likely to be errobeus; no voucher material has ever been seen and all 'citri' seen were misidentified. Species involved are probably: Prays endocarpa (Indian subcontinent; South-East Asia); Prays endolemma (Philippines); and Prays nepholemima (Bornea, Australasia) (GS Robinson, personal communication, NHM, London, UK, 2001).

Distribution

Top of page P. citri is widespread in the Mediterranean region, where it was probably introduced with some citrus varieties (Balachowsky, 1966; Gomez, 1990; Carvalho and Aguiar, 1997). It is also is present in some African countries.

This moth had previously been reported in Australia by EPPO but was removed for EPPO (2002) because in an authoritative checklist on the genera (Nielsen and Edwards, 1996), P. nephelomina was reported to be endemic in Australia but P. citri was not included.

Identifications of P. citri on Citrus from east of Turkey and the Middle East (such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Fiji and Samoa previously reported by EPPO) are likely to be erroneous; no voucher material has ever been seen and all 'citri' seen were misidentified. Species involved are probably: Prays endocarpa (Indian subcontinent; South-East Asia); Prays endolemma (Philippines); and Prays nepholemima (Borneo, Australasia) (GS Robinson, personal communication, NHM, London, UK, 2001).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

British Indian Ocean TerritoryUnconfirmed record
IndiaPresentEPPO, 2014
IsraelPresentSterlicht et al., 1981; Gentry, 1965; EPPO, 2014
JordanPresentSadah and Qasem, 1986
LebanonPresentEPPO, 2014
MalaysiaPresentEPPO, 2014
PakistanPresentEPPO, 2014
PhilippinesPresentEPPO, 2014
Sri LankaPresentEPPO, 2014
SyriaPresentGentry, 1965; EPPO, 2014
TurkeyPresentNizamlioglu, 1957; EPPO, 2014

Africa

AlgeriaPresentDella Beffa, 1961; EPPO, 2014
EgyptPresentCIE, 1982; EPPO, 2014
LibyaPresentCIE, 1982; EPPO, 2014
MauritiusPresentMoutia, 1955; EPPO, 2014
MoroccoPresentHanafi et al., 1986; EPPO, 2014
RéunionPresentVincenot and Quilici, 1995
SeychellesPresentCIE, 1982; EPPO, 2014
South AfricaPresentCIE, 1982; Kamburov, 1986; EPPO, 2014
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentDominguez, 1943; Baez, 1998; EPPO, 2014
TunisiaPresentPanis et al., 1995; EPPO, 2014
ZimbabwePresentCIE, 1982; EPPO, 2014

Europe

CyprusRestricted distributionCyprus Agricultural Research Institute, 1975; Gerini, 1977; EPPO, 2014
DenmarkPresentBuhl et al., 2001
FranceRestricted distributionBalachowski, 1966; Benassy et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
-CorsicaPresentBalachowski, 1966; Benassy et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
GreecePresentPelekassis, 1962; Buchelos et al., 1963; EPPO, 2014
ItalyRestricted distributionViggiani, 1979; Della Beffa, 1961; EPPO, 2014
-SardiniaPresentEPPO, 2014
-SicilyPresentEPPO, 2014
MaltaPresentSaliba, 1963; EPPO, 2014
PortugalWidespreadCarmona and Dias, 1966; Carvalho and Aguiar, 1997; EPPO, 2014
-AzoresPresentCarvalho and Aguiar, 1997; EPPO, 2014
-MadeiraPresentCarvalho and Aguiar, 1997; EPPO, 2014
SpainWidespreadDominguez, 1943; Gomez, 1990; Garrido and Ventura, 1993; EPPO, 2014
-Balearic IslandsPresentGomez, 1990

Oceania

AustraliaPresentEPPO, 2014
FijiPresentEPPO, 2014
SamoaPresentEPPO, 2014

Risk of Introduction

Top of page P. citri is not considered to be a quarantine pest by EPPO.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Citrus is the main host plant of the caterpillar. Damage of economic importance has been reported on Citrus limon (lemon) and Citrus aurantiifolia (lime) trees, and occasionally on king orange, orange tree, mandarin orange and cedro (Balachowsky, 1966; Ibrahim and Shahateh, 1984; Garrido and Ventura, 1993; Sinacori and Mineo, 1997).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Growth Stages

Top of page Pre-emergence, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / external feeding
Fruit / internal feeding
Inflorescence / external feeding
Inflorescence / internal feeding
Leaves / external feeding

Biology and Ecology

Top of page In the Mediterranean region, all stages of the insect may be found throughout the year. The number of generations varies from 3-16, depending on climatic conditions. For example in Sicily, Italy there are 11 generations, and in Israel between 8 and 10 generations.

Population levels are low in winter and spring and high in summer and autumn. The threshold for development is approximately 10°C, and the first attacks occur in the spring when the temperatures exceed 10°C. Attacks are significant when the trees are in bloom.

Generally, the eggs are laid individually on the flowers, and sometimes on young fruit. On hatching the larvae bore flowers and small fruits. Cocoons may be found on fruits, flowers and leaves.

At 25°C the complete life cycle takes place in 20 days (egg = 4 days for development, larvae = 12 days, and pupa = 6 days). Temperature also influences the lifespan duration of the moth. Experiments show that the female lifespan is over 37.2 days at 10°C, while at 26°C it is less than 5 days. Adults have twilight and nocturnal habits. Females begin to oviposit 2-5 hours after mating. Each female can lay from 60-156 eggs (at 26°C the average is 110.7 eggs). Further information can be found in Balachowsky (1966), Garrido and Ventura (1993), Carvalho and Aguiar (1997) and Mendonca et al. (1997).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Ageniaspis fuscicollis Parasite Pupae Indian Islands; Reunion Citrus
Bacillus thuringiensis Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis Pathogen Larvae
Dolichogenidea laevigata Larvae
Metaseiulus occidentalis Predator
Nemorilla maculosa Parasite Larvae

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Detailed studies of the natural enemies of P. citri have been made in the Mediterranean region. Mineo (1967) listed some parasitic hymenoptera in Sicily, which may also attack P. oleae. Moreno et al. (1990) and Garrido and Ventura (1993) reviewed the biocontrol agents. In Spain, the most important are parasitic hymenoptera, especially Bracon laetus (Braconidae) and Ageniaspis fuscicollis (Encyrtidae). Some predators feed on the eggs, for example: Orius niger, Aeolothrips tenuicornis and Metaseiulus occidentalis. Chrysoperla carnea feeds on the larvae. Panis et al. (1995) lists the parasites found in Tunisia, and Uygun et al. (1995) lists those which occur in Turkey.

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx eggs; larvae; pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Fruits (inc. pods) pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Growing medium accompanying plants
Leaves
Roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Impact

Top of page P. citri is an important pest found on citrus in the Mediterranean region. Its attack of Citrus limon (lemon) is of particular economic importance, because it may result in up to 90% loss in flower production in Spain, and 15-70% flower reduction in Portugal (Garrido et al., 1984; Mendonca et al., 1997). P. citri is also considered an economically important pest in Egypt on lime tree (Ibrahim and Shalateh, 1984).

Prevention and Control

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Cultural Control

Water stress is considered to be a key factor in pest management in agroecosystems with Citrus limon (lemon) (Mineo, 1993). In Sicily, orchards submitted to water stress, resulted in total infestation in buds, flowers and set fruits below the economic threshold. However, in orchards with adequate water, the total registered infestation surpassed the economic threshold in the same period.

Biological Control

P. citri has many natural enemies, predators, parasites, and some polyphagous, which attack other species such us P. oleae (Mineo, 1967; OILB, 1971). The impact of biological control and use of natural enemies is considered negligible in some countries, because they are unable to control the moth effectivley (Garrido and Ventura, 1993; Uygun et al., 1995). However, Bacillus thuringiensis is a promising candidate for P. citri control with low toxicity to the natural enemies complex (Carvalho and Aguiar, 1997), and is recommended for control in integrated pest management programmes. Another pathogenic organism is the fungus Beauveria bassiana (Setata and Nasr, 1998).

Chemical Control

Insecticides commonly used against the citrus flower moth in lemon tree include chlorpyriphos.

Pheromonal Control

The synthetic sex pheromone (Z) - 7- tetradecenal showed a high degree of selectivity against P. citri, and affected only a few individuals of P. oleae in areas near olive groves. The relationship between male catches and the degree of infestation was largely influenced by locality, climatic and cultural factors, with no apparent correlation between catches and infestation. The use of pheromone traps appeared to be of little practical use for population monitoring (Mineo et al., 1980). Mass trapping and mating disruption have not proved to be promising methods for control of P. citri (Carvalho and Aguiar, 1997).

References

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Avidov Z; Harpaz I, 1969. Plant pests of Israel. Revised, English edition. Jerusalem, Israel: Israel Universities Press.

Baez M, 1998. Mariposas de Canarias. Madrid, Spain: Ed. Rueda.

Benassy C; Viggiani G; Rosen D, 1980. Integrated control in citrus culture. In: Russ K, Berger H, ed. Proceedings. International symposium of IOBC/WPRS on integrated control in agriculture and forestry. Vienna, 8th-12th October 1979. International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants, West Palearctic Regional Section. Vienna Austria, 281-287

Bodenheimer FS, 1951. Citrus Entomology in the Middle East. The Hague, Netherlands: Dr WJ Junk & S Gravenhage.

Buchelos TC; Soueref ST; Tsokas-Thanassoulopulos A, 1963. Observations on the biology of Prays citri (Milliere). Rep. Minist. Agric. Phytopath. Sta. Patras (1962).

Buhl O; Falck P; Jørgensen B; Karsholt O; Larsen K; Vilhelmsen F, 2001. Records of Microlepidoptera from Denmark in 2000 (Lepidoptera). (Fund af smasommerfugle fra Danmark i 2000 (Lepidoptera).) Entomologiske Meddelelser, 69(2):69-79.

Carmona MM; Dias JCS, 1966. Prays citri Mill., una especie nova para Portugal. Broteria, ser. Cienc. Nat., 35(1-2): 121-127.

Carter DJ, 1984. Pest Lepidoptera of Europe. Series Entomologica, Vol. 31. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Dr W Junk.

Carvalho JP de; Aguiar AMF, 1997. Pragas dos citrinos na ilha da Madeira. Madeira, Spain: Direccao Regional de Agricultura da Regiao Autonoma da Madeira. 411 pp.

CIE, 1979. Distribution Maps of Pests, Series A (Agricultural), Map No. 45 (revised). Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Cyprus Agricultural Research Institute, 1975. Annual Report for 1974. Annual Report for 1974. Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Nicosia Cyprus, 95pp.

Della Beffa G, 1961. Insects Harmful to Agriculture and Modern Methods and Means of Control. 3rd edition. Gli insetti dannosi allnagricoltura ed i moderni metodi e mezzi di lotta. Milan, Italy: V. Hoepli.

Dominguez F, 1943. Las plagas de los frutales en Espa±a y su distribución geográfica. Bol. Pat. Veg. Ent. Agric., 12:329-352.

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm

Ferro S, 1964. Observazioni biologiche sul Prays citri (in Campania) e sua lotta. Notiz. Mal. Piante, 70-71:383-415.

Garrido A; Busto T del; Tarancon J, 1984. Assessment of adults of Prays citri Mill (Lep. Hyponomeutidae) with a synthetic pheromone and the relation to damage. [Evaluacion de imagos de Prays citri Mill. (Lep. Hyponomeutidae) con una feromona de sfstesis y sus correspondientes da±os.] Anales del Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias, Agricola, No. 25:147-154

Garrido A; Ventura JJ, 1993. Plagas de los cftricos. Bases para el manejo integrado. Madrid, Spain: M.A.P.A.

Gentry JW, 1965. Crop Insects of northeast Africa-southwest Asia. Agriculture Handbook No. 273. USA: Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

Gerini V, 1977. Contribution to the knowledge of the principal insects present on citrus in Cyprus. Rivista di Agricultura Subtropicale e Tropicale, 71(7/12):147-159

Gomez de Aizpurua C, 1990. Biologfa y morfologfa de las orugas. Tomo VIII. Madrid, Spain: M.A.P.A.

Hanafi A; Laraichi M; Abbassi M, 1986. First results of the wrestling by sexual disorder against Prays citri Mill. (Lep. Hyponomeutidae) in natural conditions. Bulletin de lnEcole Nationale dnAgriculture de Meknes 2: 105-109.

Ibrahim SS; Shahateh WA, 1984. Biological studies on the citrus flower moth Prays citri Miller in Egypt. Arab Journal of Plant Protection, 2(1):4-9

Kamburov SS, 1986. New pests and beneficial insects on citrus in South Africa Part I. Citrus and Subtropical Fruit Journal, No. 625:6-7, 9-11

Liotta G; Mineo G; Ragusa S, 1976. On the current state of knowledge concerning certain arthropods injurious to citrus in Sicily. [Sur lnetat actuel des connaissances concernant certains arthropods nuisibles aux agrumes en Sicile.] Bollettino dell'Istituto di Entomologia Agraria e dell'Osservatorio di Fitopatologia di Palermo, 10:29-67

Magalhps GS, 1980. Note on the introduction of Aleurothrixus floccosus (Mask.) (Homoptera, Aleurodidae) in south Portugal and its control by Cales noacki How. (Hymenoptera, Aphelinidae). In: ProceedingsInternational symposium of IOBC/WPRS on integrated control in agriculture, forestryVienna, ed. Workshop sessions. International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants, West Palearctic Regional Section. Vienna Austria, 572-573

Mendonca TR; Martins FM; Lavadinho AMP, 1997. Curvas de voo da traca do limoeiro, Prays citri (Milliere) (Lep. Yponomeutidae) num pomar de limoeiros en mafra e evolucao do grao de ataque. Bol. San. Veg. Plagas, 23(3): 479-483.

Mineo G, 1967. New entomophagous parasites of P. citri (Citrus moth) found in Sicily. Bulletino dellnInstituto di Entomologia Agraria e dellnObservatorio di Fitopatologia di Palermo, 6: 1-5.

Mineo G, 1993. Effects of cultural techniques on the control of citrus flower moth (Prays citri Mill.) infestations (Lep. Yponomeutidae). Frustula Entomologica, 16:89-95; 5 ref.

Mineo G; Mirabello E; Busto T del; Viggiani G, 1980. Catches of adults of Prays citri Mill. (Lep. Plutellidae) with pheromone traps and progress of infestations in lemon groves in eastern Sicily. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Entomologia Agraria 'Filippo Silvestri', Portici, 37:177-197

Mineo G; Pralavorio R; Maniglia G; Voegele J; Arambourg Y, 1974. Tests on the biological control of Prays citri Mill. (Lep.-Hyponomeutidae) with Ageniaspis fuscicollis Dalm. (var. praysincola) Silv. (Hym.-Encyrtidae) and Trichogramma evanescens Westw. (Hym.-Trichogrammatidae) on lemon in Sicily. Bollettino dell'Istituto di Entomologia Agraria e dell'Osservatorio di Fitopatologia di Palermo, 9:143-160

Moreno J; Falco J V; Jimenez R, 1990. Estudio del complejo parasitario de Prys citri Mill. (Lep., Hyponomeutidae) en el sur de la provincia de Alicante. Bol. San. Veg. Plagas, 16: 515-522.

Moutia LA, 1955. The commoner insect pests of orchards, food crops, vegetables, flower gardens and household in Mauritius. Bull. Dep. Agric. Mauritius 91: 79 pp.

Nielsen ES; Edwards ED; Rangsi TV, 1996. Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia., xiv + 529 pp.; [Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 4]; 34 pp. of ref.

Nizamlioglu K, 1957. Pests of fruit trees in Turkey and their control. Kuruma Tarim Ilaclar A.S. Nesr. 5.

OILB, 1971. Liste dnidentification des entomophages 8. Paris. France.

Panis A; Chermiti B; Mussche G, 1995. Citrus lepidopterans and their parasitoids in Tunisia. Working Group Integrated control in citrus fruit crops. OILB/SROP, 18(5): 15-21.

Pelekassis CED, 1962. A catalogue of the more important insects and other animals harmful to the agricultural crops of Greece during the last thirty-year period. Annales de l'Institut Phytopathologique Benaki, 5:5-104.

Robinson GS; Tuck KR; Shaffer M, 1994. A field guide to the smaller moths of south-east Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Nature Society.

Saliba LJ, 1963. Insect pests of crop plants in the Maltese islands. Malta: Malta Department of Information, 13.

Setata WA; Nasr FN, 1998. Laboratory evaluation and field application of bacterial and fungal insecticides on the citrus flower moth, Prays citri Mill. (Lep., Hyponomeutidae) in lime orchards in Egypt. Anzeiger fur Schadlingskunde, 71: 57-60.

Sinacori A; Mineo N, 1997. Two new host plants of Prays citri and Contarinia sp. citri (Casimiroa edulis - Ligustrum lucidum - Sicily). Informatore Fitopatologico, 47(7-8): 13-15.

Sodah M; Qasem A, 1986. Use of sex pheromones traps for population monitoring of citrus moth, Prays citri Mill. in Southern Shunah, Jordan Valley and Burma, Jarash District during 1985-1986. Amman, Jordan. 12 pp.

Sternlicht M; Goldenberg S; Nesbitt BF; Hall DR, 1981. Further field trials of pheromone dispensers and traps for males of Prays citri (Milliere) (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 71(2):267-274

Traboulsi R, 1969. Contribution to the study of Aphytis spp. in the Lebanon. Annls. Soc. ent. Fr. 5(1): 5-72.

Uygun N; Karaca I; Ulusoy MR; Tekeli NZ, 1995. Status of citrus pest and their control in Turkey. Working Group Integrated control in citrus fruit crops. OILB/SROP, 18(5): 171-183.

Viggiani G, 1980. Progress toward the integrated control of citrus pests in Italy. In: Russ K, Berger H, ed. Proceedings. International symposium of IOBC/WPRS on integrated control in agriculture and forestry. Vienna, 8th-12th October 1979. International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants, West Palearctic Regional Section. Vienna Austria, 293-296

Vincenot D; Quilici S, 1995. Integrated control in citrus orchards in the Reunion Island: experimentation and development. Working Group Integrated control in citrus fruit crops. OILB/SROP, 18(5): 140-157.

Vives A, 1992. Catalogo sistematico y sinonimico de los lepidopteros de la penfnsula Iberica y Baleares (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Madrid, Spain: M.A.P.A.

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