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Species Page

light brown apple moth

Epiphyas postvittana
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Actinidia chinensis (Chinese gooseberry)
Chrysanthemum morifolium (chrysanthemum (florists'))
Crataegus (hawthorns)
Diospyros (malabar ebony)
Feijoa sellowiana (Horn of plenty)
Humulus lupulus (hop)
Jasminum (jasmine)
Ligustrum vulgare (common privet)
Litchi chinensis (lichi)
Malus domestica (apple)
Medicago sativa (lucerne)
Persea americana (avocado)
Pinus (pines)
Pinus radiata (radiata pine)
Populus (poplars)
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)
Prunus persica (peach)
Pyrus (pears)
Ribes (currants)
Rosa (roses)
Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)
Solanum tuberosum (potato)
Trifolium (clovers)
Vaccinium (blueberries)
Vicia faba (faba bean)
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)

List of symptoms / signs

Fruit - lesions: scab or pitting
Leaves - webbing


Larval nests are typically seen as leaves webbed together, or attached to fruit. Fruit surface feeding is common within larval nest sites. On apples [Malus domestica], older skin damage has a cork-like appearance, and may be small (5 mm) or larger areas, depending on larval instar and feeding duration. Feeding sites on other fruits are similar.

Vectoring of Botrytis cinerea by larvae has been shown in grapes [Vitis vinifera], with up to 13% of berry damage (by weight) caused as a result (Bailey, 1997).

Prevention and control

Regulatory Control (plant quarantine and certification)

Live larvae are not permitted on fruit exported between countries.

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

Removal of mummified fruits in older apple varieties was previously recommended (Wearing et al., 1991). Mowing and grazing of the orchard understorey can help to reduce the pest pressure, along with removal of weedy hosts. Development of orchard understoreys based on resistant legume plants has been examined, but no resistant plant material has been found (Burnip and Suckling, 1997).

Host-Plant Resistance

Natural resistance is not known in many host plants, although some obscure apple cultivars showed weak resistance (Wearing et al., 2003). Transgenic apples expressing Bt toxins were previously under development in several countries (Suckling et al., 1996). Resistance management of transgenic apples expressing Bt toxins has been investigated using mating disruption through modelling (Caprio and Suckling, 1995; Caprio and Suckling, 1997).

Biological Control

Predation by arthropods (including spiders) is a key factor in the population ecology of this species, and a wide range of biological control agents is present in Australia (Danthanarayana, 1983). Parasitoids were introduced from Australia to New Zealand for classical biological control (Thomas, 1989). Several species are routinely encountered, with the most abundant being D. tasmanica on both berryfruit (Charles et al., 1996) and a range of weeds found near apple orchards (Suckling et al., 1998). The success of this parasitoid is affected by the host plant (DM Suckling, Hortresearch, New Zealand, personal communication, 2008).

Innundative release of native egg parasitoids (Trichogramma) has been proposed in Australia (Glen and Hoffman, 1997).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources: