Adoxophyes privatana

Author: (Walker, 1863)

Species Overview:

Adult: wingspan about 15-19 mm, males smaller than females. Forewing brownish yellow; markings brown, base of dorsum with dark spot in males; median fascia furcate at dorsum. Hindwing ochreous fuscous. Veins R4 and R5 in forewing stalked. Males with relatively long abdomen with a thick caudal tuft of long scales.
Egg: flat and oval, measuring 0.8-0.85 mm in length and 0.55-0.65 mm in width; yellow when first laid but turning darker as the embryos mature; laid in a scale-like batch on upper and lower surfaces of the leaves.
Larva: about 18 mm long.
Pupa: 8-9 mm long; light brown, cremaster with eight hooklets.

Taxonomic Description:


Adoxophyes privatana males
External characters: Abdomen relatively long, with a thick caudal tuft of long scales. Forewing rectangular at apex; costa straight, very convex towards base, termen not oblique, rounded at tornus. Ground colour brownish yellow; markings darker. Colour may vary. Forewing has a characteristic dark spot at the base of the dorsum; median fascia furcate at dorsum, terminating at anal angle. Hindwing ochreous fuscous.

male genitalia A. privatana
Genitalia: Uncus long, broadening terminally, notched apically; gnathos strong, dilated towards extremities, its point short, rounded; socius small. Valva large, semiovate, with longitudinal discal fold and gradually rounded apex, covered with long hairs forming a formidable anal tuft. Transtilla bipartite, dentate. Aedeagus long, rather narrow.


Adoxophyes privatana female
External characters: Forewing ground colour brownish yellow; markings brown, outlined with cream; median fascia furcate at dorsum; pre-apical spot broken and reduced, emitting a strong stria extending to the tornal area, and a second much thinner stria parallel with termen.

female gen. A. privatana
Genitalia: Sterigma narrow with ill-defined anterior portion and tapering terminally lateral parts; antrum indistinct; ductus bursae narrow; corpus bursae spherical, signum thorn-like, strongly curved, connected with a folded plate which supports the orifice of ductus.


In Canton, China, this species has several generations per year. When bred in the insectary, there are nine generations per year. The generations are overlapping in the field. Females lay their eggs in a scale-like batch on upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. The egg period averages about 7.2 days. Upon hatching the young larvae spin silk threads and are easily blown by wind to various parts of young leaves and buds. Later, they web several leaves, or leaves and fruit, together to form a nest. The larvae feed on the plant parts enclosed by their nests. They are very active and will wriggle away backwards when disturbed, or they drop to the ground or remain suspended from the leaf on a silken thread fromwhich they can ascend again. The larval stage varies from 14 to 50 days, with an average of 21.6 days, depending upon the conditions of food and temperature.
Larval development consists of 3 to 5 moults, ordinarily 4. The insect pupates in its last larval nest or pupates between the two leaves, where it spins some defensive silken membranes and a thin cocoon around the body. Pupal stage varies from 4 to 27 days with an average of 7.7 days, depending on the generation. The longevity of adults varies from 2-22 days. Winter is usually passed in the larval stage, rarely in the pupal or adult stage (Siu-King, 1958).

Host plants:

Adoxophyes privatana is a polyphagous insect. It feeds on about 27 species of cultivated and wild plants belonging to 16 families. (Records from literature: Alternanthera sessilis, Cantharospermum barbatum, Calophyllum inophyllum, Camellia, Carica papaya, Cassia siamea, Citrus, Croton, Derris, Eugenia aquea, Evodia accedens, Desmodium gyroides, Eugenia densiflora, Flacourtia, Glycine max, Jasminum sambac, Lantana, Linum, Mangifera indica, Nephelium lappaceum, Nephelium litchi, Ricinus, Schima noronhae, Sida acuta, Solanum torvum, Theobroma, Vitex heterophylla)


This species is an important pest of citrus and litchi in Canton and in Eastern Kwangtung Province (China). The larvae cause serious injury to the young fruits, flowers, leaves and buds. Their greatest economic damage is to the young fruits. Every year from April to May, lots of young citrus fruits are damaged and drop to the ground.


Taiwan; Hong Kong; China: Hainan; Nepal; India; Sri-Lanka; Thailand; W. Malaysia; Singapore; Sumatra; Java; Borneo; Philippines. Lowland to montane (1700 m).


Pheromone unknown.


Z 9-14Ac : 63
Z 11-14Ac : 31
E 11-14Ac : 4
10me-12Ac : 2 (Shi and Chow, 1985)


of pupa:
Phaeogenes sp. (Ichneumonidae)
Brachymeria obsculata (Chalcididae)
Nemorilla floralis maculosa Meigen (Tachinidae)

Adoxophyes perstricta Meyrick

Adoxophyes perstricta Meyrick is a similar species which also occurs in South-Eastern Asia (Java , Philippine Is., New Britain, New Guinea). This species is also very polyphagous and was recorded from oleander, Ricinum, melati (Jasminum), rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), litchi (Nephelium litchi), mango (Mangifera indica) and Filicium. In this species, the median fascia on the forewing is narrow and not furcate at dorsum [Adoxophyes perstricta adults ]

East of Borneo, Adoxophyes privatana is replaced by a closely related species, Adoxophyes cyrtosema Meyrick, which occurs as far east as Tonga. This species has been treated as a synonym of Adoxophyes fasciculana Walker by Gates Clarke, 1976, but according to Tuck (personal communication) there are small but clear differences in the shapes of the median and apical fasciae on the forewing and in the apex of the uncus in Adoxophyes fasciculana compared to the other two taxa. Adoxophyes cyrtosema may be a sibling species to Adoxophyes privatana or perhaps a subspecies or possibly the two taxa could represent a cline.