Morphological and molecular identification of economically important Tortricidae (Lepidoptera) on deciduous fruit tree crops in South Africa
Four tortricid species are of major economic importance on deciduous fruit tree crops in South Africa. They are codling moth, Cydia pomonella, oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta, false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta, and carnation worm, Epichoristodes acerbella. Pest management and phytosanitary practices are often hampered by the inability to distinguish between the immature stages of these four species. To address this need, the final instar larvae and pupae of E. acerbella are described and illustrated. The morphology of these immature stages of E. acerbella is compared with those of the aforementioned tortricid species. Keys are included to distinguish between the four species. In addition, as an alternative method of identification of any life stage, a means of discriminating between the four species, based on analysis of nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene, is described.