Green fruitworm


Green fruitworm (or speckled green fruitworm)

Orthosia hibisci (Guenee)

Noctuidae: Lepidoptera

Distribution: Mainly southeastern Canada and northeastern US to the mid-Atlantic states.

Immature larvae of the green fruitworm (GFW) feed on flower buds and new foliage. Mature larvae feed on blossoms, developing fruit and leaves. Early feeding injury often causes fruit to abort. Fruit remaining on the tree after GFW feeding exhibit deep holes sealed over with corky scar tissue.

Monitoring: Use pheromone traps to monitor for adult emergence, generally around budburst in Michigan. Visually inspect fruit and leaves for larvae or signs of larval feeding. Examine 20 fruit clusters per tree (outside, inside, and top of tree) on five trees per orchard. Treat if there is an average of two or more larvae per tree or evidence of fresh feeding.

  • Crops Affected: apples, cherries, peaches, pears, plums


    Attacks all deciduous tree fruits. Larvae feed on young leaves (C) and dig tunnels in buds and young fruit (B), often leaving a symmetrical round hole; fruit drop when the core is injured, or otherwise remain on the tree and develop corky scars (D).


    Use of broad-spectrum or selective (e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis) insecticides, if necessary, before or after bloom.

    Similar Species

    Many other fruitworm species are present in the region, but most are similar in appearance (green, with dots, dashes, lines or stripes of white, cream or yellow) and all can be considered as members of the "green fruitworm" complex. These also include Lithophane antennata (Walker), Widestriped green fruitworm; Amphipyra pyramidoides Guenée, Humped green fruitworm; Lithophane baileyi Grote, Bailey green fruitworm and Himella fidelis Grote, fourlined green fruitworm.