Maruca vitrata

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Maruca vitrata (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Alan Kimber
Source: IPM Images

Maruca vitrata (Fabricius, 1787) - (bean podborer)

This moth is widely distributed in the tropics and an important pest of cowpea and other legume crops in Asia, Africa and South America. The larvae attack the vegetative and reproductive parts of the crop, like buds, flowers and young pods and can cause significant yield losses (estimates range from 20-80%). Insecticides are used for control but need to be applied before the larvae enter the pods. Pesticide resistance has been reported.

There are several overlapping generations per year and the moth can use non-crop hosts between seasons. The life cycle from egg, through 5 larval stages, to mature adults lasts about 3-5 weeks.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Leguminosen-Bohnenborer
• English: bean podborer
legume podborer
• Español: Maruca de las vainas
• Français: foreur des gousses
• Português: broca-das-vagens

The adult has a wingspan of about 30 mm. It is brown to dark brown with a conspicuous white mark in the apical half of the forewing and mostly white hindwings, except for the broad apical margin. The larvae are light green with two rows of distinctive paired black markings on their back.

Maruca testulalis

For a review see Srinivasan et al. (2021).