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Fiddlewood Leafroller

Fiddlewood Leaf Roller Caterpillar, Jennifer Possley

Fiddlewood (Citharexylum fruticosum) is an attractive shrub native to South Florida that is often used as a tall hedge.  It has glossy leaves with small white showy flowers that bloom in the summer.

Recently such a hedge in Key Largo was severely defoliated.  The culprit was the fiddlewood leafroller (Epicorsia odeipodalis), in its first documented appearance in Monroe CountyThese yellow caterpillars with orange heads and black and white spots skeletonize and roll leaves of fiddlewoods and other plants, including star apples and lancewood.  After pupating, they emerge as small ( 4 cm) yellow/tan moths.

Although these pests usually do no permanent damage, they do cause temporary unsightliness. So what can you do to control these pests?  Remove the eggs and pupae by pruning and disposal, and treat the larvae with the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis.



caterpillar control

One Comment on “Fiddlewood Leafroller

  1. My Fiddlewood is suffering sever damage from these pests. At first I thought it was the cold snap we were experiencing. I live in eastern Martin County.