Chrysoteuchia culmella L Garden grass veneer moth

This generally abundant species sometimes causes severe damage in permanent grassland. Attacked plants are severed at or below ground level, damage being caused both to the leaves and the root system. Large patches of dead grass occur in heavily infested sites, and damage may extend over several hectares.

BIOLOGY

Adults occur in June and July. They fly mainly at dusk but, if disturbed during the daytime, they fly away erratically to settle again a short distance ,away, typically head downwards on grass stems. Eggs are dropped at random onto the soil in grassy situations; they hatch shortly afterwards. The larvae. attack the base of grass stems; the larvae also;,giaze on the leaves. They shelter in the soil within the root system, typically adopting a C-shaped posture; unlike various closely related species (e.g. Agriphila straminella, p. 223), they do not form silken galleries Individuals are usually fully fed by the autumn. They then overwinter and pupate in the late spring.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 20-24 mm wingspan; forewings yellowish-brown, marked with black and with a pale, distinctly bent subterminal line (Plate 13a); hindwings brownish-grey. Larva up to 15 mm long; body yellowish-white to dirty greenish-white; pinacula large and shiny (but pale and often indistinct), each bearing a relatively long, stout, black seta; spiracles small and jet black (Fig. 300); head chestnut-brown; prothor-acic plate and anal plate yellowish-brown to brownish-black (Plate 13b).

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