Maruca vitrata


Maruca vitrata is a pantropical insect pest of leguminous crops like pigeon pea, cowpea, mung bean and soybean. Its common names include the maruca pod borer, bean pod borer, soybean pod borer, mung moth, and the legume pod borer. The species was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1787.

Bean pod borer
Sinharaja Forest, Viharahena, Sri Lanka
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Crambidae
Genus: Maruca
M. vitrata
Binomial name
Maruca vitrata
(Fabricius, 1787)
  • Botys bifenestralis Mabille, 1880
  • Crochiphora testulalis Geyer, 1832
  • Hydrocampe aquitilis Guérin-Méneville, [1832]
  • Maruca testulalis (Geyer, 1832)
  • Phalaena vitrata Fabricius, 1787

It can cause losses of 20–80% on the harvests of cowpeas.[1]

Its feeding sites on plants are flower buds, flowers and young pods. In some cases early instars feed on flower peduncles and young stems.

Methods for control




Some parasitoids have been shown to serve as a biological control for Maruca vitrata. Parasitoid wasps families include Braconidae and Ichneumonidae; some parasitoid flies in the Tachinidae are also natural enemies of the moth.[2] M. vitrata prefers to lay its eggs on the flowering bodies of the cowpea plant. Efforts have been made to deter M. vitrata from reproducing on the plant ranging from pesticides to a chemical specifically designed to sterilize the moth.[3]


Maruca vitrata photographed at night, in West Bengal, India.

Worldwide in the tropics. Asia, Africa, North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Australia & Oceania.[4]


  • Okeyo-Owuor, J. B.; Ochieng, R. S. (1981). "Studies on the legume pod-borer, Maruca testulalis (Geyer)—I: Life cycle and behaviour". International Journal of Tropical Insect Science. 1 (3). Springer Science and Business Media LLC: 263–268. doi:10.1017/s1742758400000503. ISSN 1742-7584. S2CID 85977430.
  • Sharma, H.C. (1998). "Bionomics, host plant resistance, and management of the legume pod borer, Maruca vitrata — a review" (PDF). Crop Protection. 17 (5). Elsevier BV: 373–386. Bibcode:1998CrPro..17..373S. doi:10.1016/s0261-2194(98)00045-3. ISSN 0261-2194.
  • Singh, S.R.; Jackai, L.E.N. (1985). "Insect pests of cowpea in Africa: their life cycle, economic importance and potential for control". In Singh, S.R.; Rachie, K.O. (eds.). Cowpea: Research, Production and Utilization. New York: Wiley Publishing. pp. 217–232. ISBN 978-0471908029.
  • Singh, S.R.; Jackai, L.E.N (22–28 February 1988). "Screening techniques for host plant resistance to cowpea insect pests - Regional Grain Legume Workshop, by IFS". Tropical Grain Legume Bulletin. 35. Tannanarive, Madagascar: 2–18.
  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  2. ^ Huang, Chi-Chung; Peng, Wu-Kang; Talekar, N.S. (2003). "Parasitoids and other natural enemies of Maruca vitrata feeding on Sesbania cannabina in Taiwan". Biocontrol. 48 (4): 407–416. doi:10.1023/A:1024751300838.
  3. ^ Osei-Owusu, Jonathan (6 July 2020). "Identification of Semiochemicals from Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata, for Low-input Management of the Legume Pod Borer, Maruca vitrata". Journal of Chemical Ecology. 46 (3) (published March 2020): 288–298. Bibcode:2020JCEco..46..288O. doi:10.1007/s10886-020-01149-7. PMC 7142049. PMID 31953705. Retrieved 6 July 2020 – via Web of Science.
  4. ^
  • mbarnes
  • cabicompendium
  • Savela, Markku. "Maruca vitrata (Fabricius, 1787)". Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  • Maruca in Australia
  • Network for Genetic Improvement of Cowpea for All (NGICA)