EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 01 - 2008 Num. article: 2008/011

Leucinodes orbonalis is regularly intercepted in the EPPO region: addition to the EPPO Alert List

From 2004 to 2007*, approximately 120 interceptions of Solanum fruits infested by Leucinodes orbonalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and imported from Asia and Africa have been made by several EPPO member countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom). L. orbonalis was detected in 22 imported consignments in 2004, 35 in 2005, 47 in 2006 and 17 in 2007. The pest was mainly detected on fruits of aubergine (Solanum melongena). It was found to a lesser extent on S. torvum, S. aethiopicum, and occasionally on S. gilo and S. aculeatissimum. Most consignments originated from Thailand (94 consignments) and Ghana (18). L. orbonalis was also detected on fruits from India (6), Vietnam (2) and Kenya (1). Considering the large number and the frequency of these interceptions, the Panel on Phytosanitary Measures recommended that this pest should be included in the EPPO Alert List.

*Note: The dataset is not yet complete for 2007, the EPPO Secretariat is still receiving data for that year

Leucinodes orbonalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) – eggplant fruit borer
Why: Since 2004, more than 120 interceptions of Solanum fruits infested by Leucinodes orbonalis and imported from Asia and Africa have been made by several EPPO member countries. The Panel on Phytosanitary Measures recommended that this pest should be included into the EPPO Alert List.

Where: L. orbonalis is a tropical pest which occurs in Asia and Africa.
EPPO region: absent.
Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
Africa: Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

On which plants: Its major host is aubergine (Solanum melongena) but L. orbonalis can attack other solanaceous plants such as S. tuberosum (potato), S. aculeatissimum, S. indicum, S. myriacanthum, S. torvum, Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato), Capsicum annuum or weeds (S. nigrum). The pest has also been reported on the following crops: Beta vulgaris, Ipomoea batatas, Mangifera indica, Pisum sativum.

Damage: Damage is caused by larvae which feed on fruits. Eggs are laid on leaves and young shoots. Hatching larvae crawl to the nearest shoots or fruits and bore inside. On fruit, larvae usually enter just below the calyx. 6 larval instars have been observed. Last instar larvae bore exit holes and pupate in plant debris on the soil surface, usually near the stem of the host plant. Adults are white with brown wing patterns (wingspan of 18 to 24 mm) and active at night. Pictures can be viewed on the Internet:

Dissemination: Adults can fly over short distances, they are considered as weak flyers but no further details are given. Over longer distances, infested fruits can disseminate the pest.

Pathway: Plants for planting, fruits of Solanum and other host plants from countries where L. orbonalis occurs, soil?

Possible risks: Aubergines (S. melongena) and other hosts such as tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), potato (S. tuberosum), and Capsicum annuum are widely grown in the EPPO region. In countries where L. orbonalis occurs, significant yield losses have been reported (e.g. in Asia more than 65% yield losses are reported on aubergine). Chemical control is the main method used (several active substances can be applied) but there is some indication that the pest has developed resistance. The presence of the insect may be easily overlooked during inspection, as holes can be very small. Considering the tropical nature of the pest, it is unlikely that the pest will survive outdoors in the northern part of the EPPO region but it probably could survive under protected conditions. More studies are needed to evaluate its establishment potential in the Southern part of the EPPO region which appears to be more at risk. Finally, L. orbonalis has been intercepted many times on fruit consignments, but the risk of transfer from infested fruits to crops is probably rather low.

EPPO RS 2008/011
Panel review date: -
Entry date 2008-01


Bishop S, Matthews L, MacLeod A (2006) CSL Pest Risk Analysis. York, UK. http://www.defra.gov.uk/planth/pra/LeucinodesOrbonalis.pdf
CABI (2007) Crop Protection Compendium. Datasheet on Leucinodes orbonalis. http://www.cabicompendium.org/cpc/home.asp
Van der Gaag DJ, Stigter H (2005) Pest Risk Analysis Leucinodes orbonalis (Guénée). Plant Protection Service, the Netherlands. http://www.minlnv.nl/cdlpub/servlet/CDLServlet?p_file_id=14186
Zhang B-C (1994) Index of the economically important Lepidoptera. CABI Wallingford, UK, 468 pp.