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Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura

versão impressa ISSN 0100-2945versão On-line ISSN 1806-9967

Rev. Bras. Frutic. vol.39 no.spe Jaboticabal  2017  Epub 06-Fev-2017 

Defesa Fitossanitária







2 2MSc in Plant Production in the Semiarid. State University of Montes Claros, Rua Reinaldo Viana, 2630 - Janaúba, MG, 39440-000.E-mail:

3 Post-Doctorate in Entomology.State University of Montes Claros, Rua Reinaldo Viana, 2630 - Janaúba, MG, 39440-000.E-mail:

4 Post-Doctorate in Entomology.State University of Montes Claros, Rua Reinaldo Viana, 2630 - Janaúba, MG, 39440-000.E-mail:

5 MSc in Plant Production in the Semiarid.State University of Montes Claros, Rua Reinaldo Viana, 2630 - Janaúba, MG, 39440-000.E-mail:


This paper aimed to evaluate the occurrence of Gonodonta larvae defoliating sugar apple (Annona squamosa) and atemoya fruits (Annona squamosa x Annona cherimolia L. Mill.) in northern state of Minas Gerais. Larvae were collected between December 2007 and January 2008 in Annonaceae plantation in the rural area of the municipality of Janaúba, MG. Adults obtained have been sent for identification. The species identified were Gonodonta bidens Geyer, G. nutrix Stoll and G. pyrgo Cramer. The infestation level observed in the orchard was 85% of plants with the presence of Gonodonta larvae and the average defoliation percentage was 30%. These are the first records of Gonodonta species defoliating sugar apple and atemoya in Brazil.

Index terms Fruit piercing moths; Annonaceae; Annona squamosa; A. cherimolia x A. squamosa


Esta comunicação tem como objetivo registrar a ocorrência de lagartas de Gonodonta desfolhando pinha (Annona squamosa L.) e atemoia (Annona squamosa L. x Annona cherimolaMill.), no norte de Minas Gerais. As lagartas foram coletadas entre dezembro/2007 e janeiro/2008, em área de plantio de pinheira e atemoieira, na área rural do município de Janaúba, MG. Os adultos obtidos foram enviados para a identificação. As espécies identificadas foram Gonodonta bidens Geyer, Gonodonta nutrix(Stoll) e Gonodonta pyrgo (Cramer). O índice de infestação observado no pomar foi de 85% dasplantas com presença de lagartas de Gonodonta e a porcentagem média de desfolha foi de 30%. Estes são os primeiros registros de espécies de Gonodonta desfolhando pinheira e atemoieira no Brasil.

Termos para indexação Mariposas furadoras de frutos; Annonaceae; Annona squamosa; A. cherimolia x A. squamosa


Among anonaceae species that produce edible fruits, the most widely known and economically important are graviola, Annona muricata L., sugar apple, custard apple, Annona squamosa L., cherimoya, Annona cherimola Mill. and atemoya, A. cherimolia x A. squamosa hybrid (MOSCA et al., 2006). In Brazil, the production of anonaceous plants is mainly focused on sugar apple and graviola.

The northeastern region of Brazil accounts for about 95% of national sugar apple production (LEMOS, 2014). Atemoya is still unknown to most of the population, but is expanding in some regions of the country, such as São Paulo, where 44% of Brazilian production is concentrated. In recent years, there has been an increase in the production of these fruits in northern Minas Gerais, being mainly concentrated in the micro-region of Janaúba (IBGE, 2009; LEMOS, 2014).

The production of anonaceae has some associated pests, especially borers of fruits Cerconota anonella (Sepp.) (Lepidoptera: Elachistidae) and seeds, Bephratelloides pomorum (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) and defoliating larvae, Cocytius antaeus (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) (HAMADA et al., 1998; BRAGA SOBRINHO et al., 2012). Larvae of the genus Gonodonta Hubner (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) have also been reported in anonaceae (TODD, 1959). In Brazil, Gonodonta specieshave been reported as defoliating anonaceae, such as Gonodonta sp. in sugar apple (BRAGA SOBRINHO et al., 2012) and Gonodonta fulvangula (Geyer) em graviola (HAMADA et al., 1998), but without damage records. Gonodonta moths, although reported as attacking leaves, are also known to pierce the cuticle of anonaceae fruits and several other plant species with their proboscis to feed themselves (BAJZINGER et al., 2001; ZENKER et al., 2010).

Information on the occurrence and host plants of Gonodonta larvae is very old. Gonodonta larvae feed on plant leaves, mainly Annonaceae and Piperaceae, and adults on citrus fruits such as tangerine, grapefruit and mainly orange, as well as on tropical species such as sugar apple (TODD, 1959). However, there are few reports that relate damage caused by these insects to fruits (moths) or leaves (larvae).

Considering the lack of information on the occurrence of Gonodonta in cultivated plants and its possible relevance for anonaceae in Brazil, the aim of this study was to record the occurrence of Gonodonta larvae defoliating sugar apple and atemoya in northern state of Minas Gerais.

Larvae of different sizes were collected in an area of Annonaceae cultivation (sugar apple and atemoya), with 9 ha, located in the municipality of Janaúba, MG, between December 2007 and January 2008. A total of 100 plants were evaluated, recording presence or absence of larvae and the defoliation percentage in each plant. The defoliation percentage was evaluated by observing the entire plant to quantify leaf reduction, based on the score scale of Mesquita et al. (2002) (0 = no attack, 1 = 1% to 20% of defoliated area, 2 = 21 to 40% of defoliated area, 3 = 41 to 60% of defoliated area, 4 = 61% to 80% of 5 = 81% to 100% of defoliated area). The infestation index was determined by the following formula: I = (number of plants with presence of larvae or defoliation / number of plants evaluated) x 100.

Larvae were taken to the Laboratory of Entomology of the State University of Montes Claros (UNIMONTES), Campus Janaúba, being stored in plastic containers and fed with sugar apple leaves (A. squamosa). Larvae were maintained under these conditions until pupation. Pupae obtained were transferred to new plastic containers aimed at the emergence of adults. Adults were killed, mounted on entomological pin and sent for specific identification by a specialist.

The species identified were Gonodonta bidens Geyer, Gonodonta nutrix (Stoll) and Gonodonta pyrgo (Cramer). The infestation index observed in the orchard was 85% of plants with presence of Gonodonta larvae and the mean defoliation percentage was 30%. In Brazil, little is known about the hosts of the larval phase of these species, as this is the first record of damage caused by larvae of these species in cultivated plants. This record is the result of the finding of intense attacks with high infestations rates of these insects in sugar apple and atemoya orchards in the northern region of Minas Gerais, causing high levels of defoliation, which evidences the need for further studies.

Gonodonta bidens presents as synonyms Gonodonta miranda Raymundo, Gonodonta meridionalis Todd and Gonodonta tenebrosa Todd. The hosts of G. bidens and G. pyrgo larvae are unknown and adults have been cited as Citrus pests (TOOD, 1959).

Gonodonta nutrix presents as synonym Gonodonta acmeptera (Sepp) and its occurrence has been reported in annonaceous plants Annona glabra L., A. squamosa and Annona diversifolia Saff., in manacá, Brunfelsia undulata Sw. (Solanaceae) and tomato Solanum lycopersicum (Solanaceae) (TOOD, 1959). Adults have been reported as citrus pests in Florida, attacking fruits and causing significant losses (KING and THOMPSON, 1958). Larvae have already been observed attacking sugar apple and atemoya leaves in Florida, but without causing significant damage, since they are very parasitized by braconids (PEÑA and CRANE, 2006).

In Brazil, Gonodonta species have already been captured by means of a light trap installed in a fragment of the Decidual Seasonal Forest in the municipality of Itaára, RS (VIANA and COSTA, 2001). In areas of grape cultivation in the Serra Gaúcha region, Zenker et al. (2010) collected by means of McPhail trap three Gonodonta biarmata Guenée adults. Similarly, Specht and Corseuil (2002) collected three Gonodonta sicheas adults (Cramer) by means of a light trap in Salvador do Sul, RS. In Piauí, Castelo Branco (2008), also by means of light trap, observed the occurrence of G. bidens and G. pyrgo adults in collections performed in sugarcane crops. However, these authors did not relate these lepidoptera to leaf or fruit damage.

Possibly, there are other fruit species that may be being attacked by Gonodonta larvae and / or adults/ however, information about the occurrence of these insects and their hosts is scarce, especially in Brazil. This work reports for the first time the occurrence of larvae of three Gonodonta species, G. bidens, G. nutrix and G. pyrgo attacking sugar apple and atemoya leaves in Brazil.


To the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for granting scholarship to the second author. To the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), for granting a Research Incentive and Technological Development grant to the third author. To Capes for granting a Master’s degree scholarship to the fourth author. To Professor Sinval Silveira Neto (ESALQ / USP) for the identification of species.


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Received: April 16, 2015; Accepted: November 09, 2015

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