Isotenes miserana (Walker, 1863)
Orange Fruit Borer
(one synonym : Teras absumptana Walker, 1866)
TORTRICINAE ,   TORTRICIDAE ,   TORTRICOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Isotenes miserana
(Photo: courtesy of Harold McQueen, North Maclean, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is buff coloured with vague broad brown bands along the body, a dark brown head and prothroax, and has a stiff white hair projecting each side from each segment.

Isotenes miserana

The caterpillar is a pest attacking flowers, fruit, and foliage of a wide variety of agricultural plants, fruit trees, and weeds, including:

  • Orange ( Citrus sinensis, RUTACEAE ),
  • Avocado ( Persea americana, LAURACEAE ),
  • Mulberry ( Morus species, MORACEAE ),
  • Pigweed ( Portulaca oleracea, PORTULACACEAE ),
  • Macadamia ( Macadamia integrifolia, PROTEACEAE ),
  • Lychee ( Litchi chinensis, SAPINDACEAE ), and
  • Cultivated Grapes ( Vitis vinifera, VITACEAE ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It pupates in a cocoon protected by leaves joined around it.

    Isotenes miserana

    The adult moths are varied in colour and pattern, being a patchy speckled brown or grey, often with a broad diagonal indistinct dark stripe across each forewing. The moths have a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Isotenes miserana
    (Photo: courtesy of Harold McQueen, North Maclean, Queensland)

    The eggs are laid in a mass protected by a fence of scales deposited around them by the female moth.

    Isotenes miserana
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species is endemic to Australia, being found in

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.

    and has unfortunately also appeared in

  • New Zealand, and
  • Taiwan.

    The pest has been controlled by the use of: Endosulfan or Carbaryl.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, figs. 27.12, 51.15, pp. 68, 279.

    Francis Walker,
    Tortricites & Tineites,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 28 (1863), p. 301, No. 67.


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    (updated 4 September 2011, 6 March 2016)