Prays citri

Lemon or citrus moth


It mainly affects lemon trees but damage is also found in orange, tangerine and grapefruit.

Prays citri is a micro-lepidopteran that damages citrus flowers, buds, and fruit. The adult is between 10-12 mm in size and has a gray body. The wings have various dark spots. The adults fly at night and lay their eggs on the closed petals.

In the Mediterranean region, all phases of this insect can be found throughout the year. Annually the generations can vary from 3 to 16 generations depending on the climatic conditions.

The most serious damage is observed during the flowering season. The damage is caused by the caterpillars, since the adults feed on nectar and other sugary substances. The caterpillars, once inside the flower, feed on the anthers and the pistil, effectively reducing the production of the affected specimens.