Citrostichus phyllocnistoide

Citrostichus phyllocnistoides (Narayanan)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera, Apocryta, Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae.

Geographical distribution: Citrostichus phyllocnistoides, of South Asian origin, was introduced into Israel and is now established.

Morphology: The body of the female is blackish with a pale, transparent area on its abdomen. The meconia excreted at pupation lie on one side along the body of the pupa in a characteristic half-moon position that allows this parasitoid to be recognized prior to emergence.

Host: The citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella, a major pest of citrus.

Life cycle: This is a solitary, arrhenotokous, ectoparasitoid of the citrus leafminer. The hosts (2nd and 3th-instar larvae are preferred) are paralyzed before oviposition. In the field C. phyllocnistoides raises about 15 annual generations, in the laboratory, at 25°C, one generation in 12 days. Its threshold of development was calculated to be around 10°C and 210 day degrees were estimated to be required for completing a generation.

Economic importance: This is the major enemy of the citrus leafminer, killing ca 70% pest’s population. It kills pest individuals by parasitization as well as by host feeding. It reduces damage to citrus leaves by about 60%.


Argov, Y. and Rossler Y. 1996. Introduction, release and recovery of several exotic natural enemies for biological control of the citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella, in Israel. Phytoparasitica 24: 33-38.

Elekçioğlu, N.Z. and Uygun, N. 2013. Hosts and some biological characteristics of Citrostichus phyllocnistoides Narayanan (Narayanan, 1960) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a parasitoid of citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella (Stainton, 1856) (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Bitki Koruma Bülteni 53: 191-198.

Garcia-Mari, F., Vercher, M., Costa-Comelles, M., Marzal, C. and Villalba, M. 2004. Establishment of Citrostichus phyllocnistoides (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) as a biological control agent for the citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) in Spain. Biological Control 29: 215-226.

Kalaitzaki A.P., Tsagkarakis A.E. and Lykouressis D.P. 2011. Population fluctuation of Phyllocnistis citrella and its parasitoids in two citrus species in Western Crete (Greece). Entomologia Hellenica 20: 31-44.

Subba Rao, B. R. and Ramamani, S. 1965. Biology of Cirrospiloideus phyllocnistoides (Narayanan) and description of a new species Scotolynx quadristriata (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) as parasites of Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton. Indian Journal of Entomology 27: 408-413.

Urbaneja A., Morales C., Mendoza A.H., Garrido A. and Jacas J.A. 2003. Effect of temperature on development and survival of Citrostichus phyllocnistoides (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a parasitoid of Phyllocnistis citrela (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). Biocontrol Science and Technology 13: 127-130.

Author: YAEL ARGOV. E-mail:

The Israel Cohen Institute for Biological Control, Citrus Marketing Board of Israel, P.O. Box 80, 50250 Bet Dagan, Israel.