Cryptophlebia ombrodelta (Lower, 1898)
Macadamia Nutborer
(one synonym is Cryptophlebia carpophaga Walsingham, 1900)
OLETHREUTINAE,   TORTRICIDAE,   TORTRICOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cryptophlebia ombrodelta
drawing by Lord Thomas de Grey, 6th Baron Walsingham, listed as Cryptophlebia carpophaga
,
Description of two new species of Tineina from Bengal,
Indian Museum Notes, Volume IV, Number 3 (1899), Plate 7, fig. 1,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

This Caterpillar is a pest on a variety of cultivated trees, such as:

  • Macadamia ( Macadamia integrifolia, PROTEACEAE ),
  • Lychee ( Litchi chinensis, SAPINDACEAE )
  • Orchid Trees ( Bauhinia species, CAESALPINIACEAE ),
  • Barbados Pride ( Caesalpinia pulcherrima, CAESALPINIACEAE ),
  • Poinciana ( Delonix regia, CAESALPINIACEAE ),
  • Tamarind ( Tamarindus indica, CAESALPINIACEAE ), and
  • various Wattles ( Acacia species, MIMOSACEAE ).

    Cryptophlebia ombrodelta
    drawing by Lord Thomas de Grey, 6th Baron Walsingham, listed as Cryptophlebia carpophaga
    ,
    Description of two new species of Tineina from Bengal,
    Indian Museum Notes, Volume IV, Number 3 (1899), Plate 7, fig. 1d,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    The caterpillars penetrate the young fruit, and feed on the kernel inside. They pupate inside the seed pod. The pupal skin is left sticking out of the pod when the adult moth emerges and flies away.

    Cryptophlebia ombrodelta
    female, listed as Oxysemaphora species
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moths are brown, with a large triangular variable dark tip to each forewing. The females have a pale-edged brown triangular mark on inner margin of each forewing. where the males have a more comples mark.

    Cryptophlebia ombrodelta
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The males also have erectable scales behind the thorax. The hindwings are pale brown, and each has a recurve in the margin. The wingspan is about 2 cms. The moths are active in the summer months.

    Cryptophlebia ombrodelta
    female, drawing by Lord Thomas de Grey, 6th Baron Walsingham, listed as Cryptophlebia carpophaga
    ,
    Description of two new species of Tineina from Bengal,
    Indian Museum Notes, Volume IV, Number 3 (1899), Plate 7, fig. 1c,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    The eggs of this species are white, round and flat, and have a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid in small groups, up to 15, on the fruit.

    Cryptophlebia ombrodelta
    male, drawing by Lord Thomas de Grey, 6th Baron Walsingham, listed as Cryptophlebia carpophaga
    ,
    Description of two new species of Tineina from Bengal,
    Indian Museum Notes, Volume IV, Number 3 (1899), Plate 7, fig. 1b,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    The pheromones of this species have been identified. Various methods of control have been proposed, including:

  • Mating Disruption,
  • Hot Water,
  • Irradiation,
  • Insecticides,
  • Egg parasite Trichogramma cryptophlebiae ( TRICHOGRAMMATIDAE ),
  • Larval parasitoid Brachymeria pomonae ( CHALCIDIDAE ),
  • Larval parasitoid Brachon species ( BRACONIDAE ), and
  • Larval parasitoid Gotro bimaculata ( ICHNEUMONIDAE ).

    The species occurs across south-east Asia and the south Pacific, including

  • Hawaii,
  • Hong Kong,
  • India,
  • Micronesia,
  • Vietnam,

    and in Australia, including:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • Norfolk Island, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 28.8, pp. 58-59, 68, 280.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    New Australian Lepidoptera: with a note on Deilephila livornica, Esp.,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 23 (1898), pp. 48-49.

    Lord Thomas de Grey, 6th Baron Walsingham,
    Description of two new species of Tineina from Bengal,
    Indian Museum Notes,
    Volume IV, Number 3 (1899), pp. 105-107, and also Plate 7, fig. 1.


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    (updated 9 October 2012, 2 December 2014)