Grapholita lunulana

Author: (Denis and Schiffermüller, 1775)

White spotted pod borer

Species Overview:

Adult: 11-17 mm wingspan; general colouration of forewing olive-brown; distal area of wing irrorate (tips of scales) with light ochreous; median fascia represented by a short, blackish brown streak on costa; ocellus moderately well developed; medio-dorsal blotch relatively slender, rounded apically. Hindwing white, broadly infuscate apically and along termen to vannal area in male, entirely fuscous in female.
Larva: head light brown to blackish brown, or black; prothoracic plate broad, varying from brown to blackish brown, paler or edged with whitish anteriorly, medial sulcus whitish yellow, distinct; abdomen pale orange-yellow, pinacula concolorous and inconspicuous; anal plate weakly sclerotized, light yellowish brown mottled or dotted with dark brown, rounded posteriorly; anal comb absent; thoracic legs light yellowish brown.
Pupa: 8.0 x 2.4 mm, reddish brown; in a tough, grey silken cocoon in the larval habitation, in the soil or amongst litter.

Taxonomic Description:


G. lunulana male
Grapholita lunulana male 2
External characters: 11-17 mm wingspan. Labial palpus light grey dorsally, fuscous ventrally, head, thorax and tegula pale olive-brown. Forewing ground colour white or cream-white, overlaid with olive-brown, paler and concolorous with thorax and tegulae in basal area, except usually five pairs of interspaces between blackish brown costal strigulae, some of the interspaces producing metallic plumbeous striae, and a narrow, curved, outward-oblique mediodorsal blotch, rounded apically, sometimes with a vestige of a black-brown stria on dorsum; distal area of wing sparsely irrorate (tips of scales) with light ochreous; fasciate markings obsolete except median fascia which is represented by a short, blackish brown streak on costa; ocellus moderately well developed, containing three or four small black dots or dashes and edged laterally with metallic plumbeous striae, the inner stria extending inwards and curving towards costa; some black specks or dots usually in distal area around ocellus; cilia concolorous with wing basally, otherwise grey, sometimes with an indistinct blackish sub-basal line. Hindwing white, broadly infuscate apically and along termen to vannal area; cilia cream-white, with a fuscous sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia G. lunulana
Genitalia: Costa of valva only slightly concave; ventral margin of valva with notch. Cucullus fairly short. Tegumen tapering apically. Aedeagus only slightly bent basally.


G. lunulana female
Grapholita lunulana female 2
External characters: Similar to male, forewing often slightly darker; hindwing entirely fuscous.

female genitalia G. lunulana
Genitalia: Sterigma in form of ring surrounding ostium; lamella postvaginalis without posterior processes; diameter of ostium equal to or slightly exceeding height of lamella postvaginalis. Ductus bursae with small sclerotization posterior to inception of ductus seminalis.

Taxonomic note:

The species has also been referred to as Grapholita dorsana but this name is invalid.


Young larvae can be found feeding in spun leaves or mining the stems, later living in the pods and feeding on the seeds. When fully grown in late summer the larva usually leaves the pod before spinning its cocoon, in which it overwinters. Pupation takes place in the spring, in a tough, grey, silken cocoon in the larval habitation, in the soil or amongst litter. Moths fly in May and June (Bradley et al., 1979).

Host plants:

Lathyrus montanus and probably Lathyrus pratensis and other species of Lathyrus and also on Vicia cracca, Vicia sativa and Pisum sativum (garden pea).


The larva first feeds in spun leaves or mine the stems, but later lives in the pods, feeding on the seeds. Infested pods first become obvious in early July when they show a slight discolouration near the base. They become more noticeable in August since they remain intact while the untenanted pods become twisted and distorted after dehiscence.


Europe to Asia Minor, Central Asia and Siberia; Northern Africa.


Pheromone unknown.

Grapholita orobana (Treitschke)

G. orobana adult
G. orobana adults
Another species of Grapholita, very similar to Grapholita lunulana and also feeding on Vicia and Lathyrus, is Grapholita orobana (Treitschke). It has relatively broader, truncate forewings and the medio-dorsal blotch is thicker and more strongly curved. Also, in Grapholita lunulana, the ocellus is less well-developed.
Grapholita orobana occurs from Europe to Siberia and Japan.

male genitalia G. orobana : Very similar to that of Grapholita lunulana; tegumen slightly more rounded apically.
female genitalia G. orobana : Diameter of ostium two to three times greater than length of lamella postvaginalis (diameter of ostium is equal to or only slightly exceeds length of postvaginal plate in Grapholita lunulana).