Larval Cryptothelea gloverii (Lepidoptera: Psycidae), an arthropod predator and herbivore on Florida citrus

Raul T. Villanueva, Jose C.V. Rodrigues, Carl C. Childers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The orange bagworm (OBW), Cryptothelea gloverii (Packard) (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) was previously reported feeding on citrus fruit and foliage and preying upon the camphor scale Pseudaonidia duplex (Cockerell) (Homoptera: Coccidae). In this study using laboratory assays, OBW preyed upon citrus rust mite, Phyllocoptruta oleivora (Ashmead) (Acari: Eriophyidae) and consumed eggs and adults of both P. oleivora and Panonychus citri (McGregor) (Acari: Tetranychidae), two important pest mites on Florida citrus. OBW was also observed to feed on the purple scale, Lepidosaphes beckii (Newman) (Homoptera: Diaspididae) and on a fungus (Penicillium sp.). OBW fed on orange and grapefruit leaves by starting from the border and eating part of the leaf, by chewing holes, or consuming the outer epithelium of either the axial or abaxial surface of the leaf without penetrating through the leaf. OBW was observed in orange orchards in association with fruit extensively russeted by P. oleivora feeding. Laboratory assays revealed that OBW larvae preferred to feed on oranges infested with P. oleivora rather than on clean fruits that were free of mite feeding damage. Feeding damage to citrus fruit by OBW larvae results in one to several holes being eaten into the rind or albedo, without damage to the fruit sacs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciated the comments and suggestions by David G. James, Robin Stuart, Michael E. Rogers and the journal referees to improve this paper. We thank J.M. Heffner, Hugo Kons, Lionel Stange, and Avas Hamon for identification of Cryptothelea gloverii and Lionel Stange for identification of Chirotica thyridopteryx. Michael Simms also collaborated on searching for the moth in several counties. This research was supported by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and approved for publication as Journal Series No. R-10330.


  • Citrus
  • Cryptothelea gloverii
  • Eriophyidae
  • Mite predation
  • Panonychus
  • Phyllocoptruta
  • Predacious Lepidoptera
  • Psychidae
  • Tetranychidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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