Endothenia gentianaeana Hiibner

This locally distributed moth is associated with Dipsacus fullonum. Infestations also occur on cultivated teasel, the seed heads of which are used in preparing (teasing) high-quality cloth such as that used as billiard-table baize. Infested seed heads are weakened and easily collapse, making them unsuitable for commercial use.

BIOLOGY

Adults occur in July and deposit eggs on teasel. The larvae feed singly within the pith of the seed heads during September and October, partly filling the receptacles with masses of blackish frass and whitish webbing. An emergence hole, through which the adult moth will eventually emerge, is bored through the wall of the seed head. The fully fed larva then overwinters, still within the seed head, and pupates in the late spring.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 15-19 mm wingspan; forewings ochreous-white, suffused with blackish-brown, especially basally, and irregularly marked with black, white and bluish-grey; hindwings dark grey with creamish-white cilia. Larva 12-15 mm long; body greyish-cream to whitish-grey; pinacula indistinct, greyish or brownish-grey: head and prothoracic plate blackish-brown; anal plate pale brown. Pupa 9-12 mm long, reddish-brown with paler wing pads.

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