FWL: 8.0-13.0 mm
Adults are brown to reddish brown with a dark-brown pretornal spot that is reduced in males. Males have sex scales on the hindwing, hind tibia, and abdomen. Male genitalia are characterized by swollen valvae with three large spines on the cucullus and a densely setose distal margin. Female genitalia are characterized by an ovate sterigma that is surrounded with, and fused to, the posterior margin of sternum VII and two signa in the corpus bursae. Males lack a forewing costal fold.
Adults of most Cryptophlebia species are superficially similar and are often mixed in museum collections. A genitalic dissection is usually necessary to confirm identity. The three species treated here, C. illepida, C. ombrodelta, and C. peltastica, can be separated by genitalic characters and geographic distribution, as outlined in the following table:
|Cryptophlebia species ||Male valva ||Female sterigma ||Distribution|
|illepida ||Two large spines, multiple rows of marginal spines ||Wide, V-shaped ||Hawaii|
|ombrodelta ||Three large spines ||Narrow, V-shaped, separate ||Australia, Guam, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Hawaii (int.)|
|peltastica ||Three large spines, margin densely setose ||Narrow, ovate, deeply inset ||Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Guam (int.)|
Late instar larvae are approximately 13-20 mm long. The abdomen is yellowish white, turning reddish in the final instar. Pinacula are large and darker than body color in most species; however, pinacula are not heavily sclerotized and may be difficult to observe in preserved individuals. The head and prothoracic shield are black or dark brown in early instars, turning pale or yellowish brown in the final instar. An anal comb is usually absent, although some individuals may have a rudimentary anal comb with 4-6 small teeth (especially common in C. ombrodelta).
Other diagnostic features of Cryptophlebia larvae include: T1 prespiracular pinaculum extends below the spiracle; SV counts on A1,2,7,8,9 as 3:3:2(3):2(1):1; SV seta on A8 and A9 bisetose; spiracle on A8 near posterior margin of segment and displaced dorsally; L group on A9 usually trisetose (occasionally bisetose); D1 and SD1 setae on same pinaculum on A9; and D2 setae on shared saddle pinaculum on A9.
Development of C. peltastica is continuous, and adults are present year-round.
Females lay eggs singly on fruit. Larvae tunnel through the skin and into the fruit, and feed on the seeds. Larval development is complete in 2-4 weeks. Pupation occurs in the fruit or in the ground. Adults emerge in 1-2 weeks.
Cryptophlebia peltastica is the primary pest of litchi in South Africa and Mauritius, with larvae damaging up to 20% of fruits in commercial orchards. This species is also a pest of macadamia in South Africa. Larvae have been recorded feeding on a variety of plants, and their polyphagous nature allows them to continue development when primary hosts are unavailable.
|Family ||Genus/species ||Common name|
|Fabaceae ||Acacia karroo Hayne ||karroothorn|
|Fabaceae ||Bauhinia L. ||bauhinia|
|Fabaceae ||Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw. ||pride-of-Barbados|
|Fabaceae ||Canavalia Adans. ||jackbean|
|Fabaceae ||Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC. ||wonderbean|
|Fabaceae ||Ceratonia siliqua L. ||St. John's bread|
|Fabaceae ||Delonix regia (Bojer ex Hook.) Raf. ||royal poinciana|
|Fabaceae ||Gleditsia triacanthos L. ||honeylocust|
|Fabaceae ||Piptadenia Benth. |
|Fabaceae ||Schotia afra Thunb. |
|Fabaceae ||Tamarindus indica L. ||tamarind|
|Rutaceae ||Citrus X sinensis (L.) Osbeck (pro sp.) [maxima X reticulata] ||sweet orange|
|Sapindaceae ||Litchi chinensis Sonn. [excluded] ||lychee|
|Sapindaceae ||Litchi Sonn. ||lychee|
Cryptophlebia peltastica is broadly distributed in Africa and has also been recorded from Seychelles, Madagascar, and Mauritius. It has been presumably introduced to Guam.
Bradley, J. D. 1953. Some important species of the genus Cryptophlebia Walsingham, 1899, with descriptions of three new species (Lepidoptera: Olethreutidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research. 43: 679-689.
Komai, F. 1999. A taxonomic review of the genus Grapholita and allied genera (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in the Palaearctic region. Entomologica Scandinavica Supplement 55. 226 pp.
Manrakhan, A., D. Abeeluck and A. Gokool. 2008. Assessment of damage by Cryptophlebia peltastica (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in litchi orchards in Mauritius. African Entomology. 16: 203-208.
Timm, A. E., H. Geertsema and L. Warnich. 2006. Analysis of population genetic structure of two closely related tortricid species of economic importance on macadamias and litchis in South Africa. Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 8: 113-119.