First Report of Infestation of the Agar Defoliator Heortia vitessoides (Moore) on the Agar Wood Tree Aquilaria malaccensis Benth. in South India


  • K. D. Prathapan Entomology, Vellayani P. O., Thiruvananthapuram 695522, Kerala
  • Santhoshkumar T. Entomology, Vellayani P. O., Thiruvananthapuram 695522, Kerala



Aquilaria malaccensis, Heortia vitessoides, Thymelaeaceae, Crambidae, pest, south India, Kerala, damage, death of tree, defoliator, agar wood


Massive infestation of the agar defoliator Heortia vitessoides (Moore) (Lepidoptera, Pyraloidea, Crambidae) was observed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts in Kerala on agar wood tree Aquilaria malaccensis Benth. (Thymelaeaceae), during February – December, 2022. Of the 119 trees observed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts, 115 were infested and six of them died due to the pest attack.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

Prathapan, K. D., & Santhoshkumar, T. (2023). First Report of Infestation of the Agar Defoliator <i>Heortia vitessoides</i> (Moore) on the Agar Wood Tree <i>Aquilaria malaccensis</i> Benth. in South India. Indian Journal of Entomology, 85(3), 654–656.



Research Communications


Hampson G F. 1896. The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Moths. Vol. 4. Taylor and Francis, London, 594 pp.

Herbison-Evans D, Crossley S. 2010. Heortia vitessoides (Moore, [1885]). Accessed 30 March 2022.

Law S T S, Wenyan W, So W L, Baril T, Swale T, Chan C B, Tobe S S, Kai Z-P, Bendena W G, Hayward A, Hui J H L.2022. Chromosomal-level reference genome of the mothHeortia vitessoides (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a major pest of agarwood-producing trees. Genomics 114: 110440.

Moore F. 1884–1887 [imprint "1885"]. The Lepidoptera of Ceylon Vol. 3. L. Reeve and Company, London. i–xvi, 1–578, pls 144–214.

Naziz P S, Das R, Sen S. 2019. The scent of stress: evidence from the unique fragrance of agarwood. Frontiers in Plant Science 10: 840.

Persoon G A. 2007. Agarwood: the life of a wounded tree. International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Newsletter 45: 24-25.

Qian C, Ma T, Qiu H, Lyu H, Liang S, Shao Y, Yuan P, Shen L, Wen X, Wang C. 2023. Lethal, transmission, behavioral, and physiological effects of Metarhizium anisopliae against gregarious larvae of Heortia vitessoidesand synergistic effects between Metarhizium anisopliae and insecticides. Pest Management Science 79(6): 2191-2205.

Rahman I. 2018. Biology of Heortia vitessoides More, a major insect pest of Aquilaria Malaccensis Lamk in northeast India. Indian Journal of Entomology 80(4): 1725-1728; doi: 10.5958/0974-8172.2018.00250.X

Singh S, Barthakur N D, Gurung D. 2000. Bioecology of Heortia vitessoides Moore (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Odentiinae), a major defoliator of Aqullaria malaccensis Lam. (Indian eagle-wood). Annals of Forestry 8(1): 109-115.

Veino J. 2022. Heortia vitessoides(Moore, [1885]). Sondhi S, Sondhi Y, Roy P, Kunte K (eds.). Moths of India, v. 2.93. Indian Foundation for Butterflies. Available from: vitessoides Accessed 30 March 2022.