Leguminivora glycinivorella

Author: (Matsumura, 1900)

Soybean pod borer

Species Overview:

Adult: 13-17 mm wingspan; forewing grey with weak purplish blue hue, more yellowish near termen; fasciae fuscous, irregular and narrow; dorsal spot well developed, giving rise to dark coloured stria; ocellus with three small black dashes. Hindwing fuscous, paler basally.
Egg: flat and oval, 0.48 x 0.35 mm, pearly white when freshly laid. During development, a red spot appears which may fuse to a pink streak.
Larva: orange-yellow when young, changing to milky white or greenish in the third instar and turning orange or pink in the final instar; head black, prothoracic shield brownish.
Pupa: brown, about 6-7 mm long.

Taxonomic Description:


L. glycinivorella adult
External characters: 13-17 mm wingspan; head and thorax ochreous-brown, abdomen fuscous. Forewing grey with weak purplish blue hue, more yellowish near termen, the latter with slight notch. Costal strigulae brown, some giving rise to bluish striae reaching termen. Interspaces between costal strigulae yellowish. Basal, subbasal and median fasciae fuscous, irregular, narrow, angulate near costa. Interspaces between these with dark coloured irregular spots. Dorsal spot well developed, fuscous, triangular, giving rise to dark coloured stria; this stria connecting to stria arising from costal strigula, forming a T-shaped marking. Ocellus ochreous with three small black dashes. Cilia dark yellowish. Hindwing with anal fold, fuscous, paler basally; cilia yellowish grey (Matsumura, 1900).

male gen. L. glycinivorella
Genitalia: Tegumen long, broad terminally, proximal portion expanding dorsally, with long-haired patches situated laterally before apex of tegumen. Cucullus broad, somewhat expanding posteriorly; notch in ventral margin of valva rather small. Aedeagus long, curved.


External characters: Forewing similar to male; hindwing without anal fold.

female gen. L. glycinivorella
Genitalia: Ovipositor fairly long, papillae analis small. Sterigma in form of a weakly sclerotized, indistinct lamella postvaginalis marked with some terminal hairs; ostium with short sclerite; ductus bursae long, membranous; corpus bursae with well developed signa and posterior diverticulum.


The species has one or two generations yearly. Adults fly from late July until early September. Females lay about 160-170 eggs each. Over 80% of the eggs are deposited on young pods. Before young pods are available, petioles and stipules are common sites. After 7-9 days, the eggs hatch. The larva spins a loose silken covering, probably for support when gouging out pod tissue. The entrance hole in the pod is very small and the callus tissue formed over it resembles the feeding punctures made by pod sucking bugs. Inside the pod, the larva feeds on the seeds. The number of larvae per pod varies with pod size and host variety. The larval stage of the non-hibernating generation lasts 18-25 days, during which the larva undergoes five larval instars. A hibernating (fifth instar) larva spins a cocoon and overwinters in the soil. Pupation occurs in a freshly made cocoon (Perrin and Ezeuh, 1978).

Host plants:

Glycine spp. (soybean), Lupinus, Pueraria lobata.


Larvae feed on the seeds inside the pod.
Late and widely spaced planting tends to result in heavier pod-borer damage than does early and dense planting. The date of pod setting and the duration of pod ripening also appear to be related to the damage-rate.


Japan, Korea, China, Eastern Russia.


Pheromone unknown.


Trichogramma chilonis (Trichogrammatidae)
Trichogramma dendrolimi (Trichogrammatidae)
Trichogramma ostriniae (Trichogrammatidae)
Diadegma hiraii (Kusigemati) (Ichneumonidae)
Iseropus himalayensis (Ichneumonidae)
Mastrus tenuibasalis (Ichneumonidae)
Pristomerus chinensis (Ichneumonidae)
Scambus glycinivorella (Ichneumonidae)
Agathis glycinivorellae (Braconidae)
Bracon abscissor (Braconidae)
Microchelonus pectinophorae (Braconidae)
Phanerotoma planifrons (Braconidae)

Fulcrifera orientis Kuznetsov

The tortricid pod-borer Fulcrifera orientis, which has been collected from Sophora flavescens in Japan, has been confused with Leguminivora glycinivorella in the past.
Sophora should therefore be excluded from the food-plant list of L. glycinivorella (Fujimura and Oku, 1985).

Male genitalia
F. orientis & L. glycinivorella
Aedeagus of Fulcrifera orientis armed with long process, originating from the anellus above the base of the coecum penis.