This moth is a widespread but usually minor pest of garden-grown or allotment-grown parsnip; infestations also occur on carrot. Leaves are grazed from below; the upper surface remains intact but turns brown to give the appearance of an extended blotch; attacks commence close to the petiole and, particularly on lower leaflets, may spread over most if not all of the lamina. Heavy infestations reduce the vigour of plants (cf. infestations of celery fly, Euleia heraclei, p. 179).
Adults appear in April or early May. They deposit eggs on the leaves of host plants, and firstgeneration larvae occur from June onwards. The larvae usually commence feeding by mining the leaves but they soon occur externally, to feed gregariously amongst strands of silk; they expel large quantities of black frass (Plate lie). Fully/ grown individuals pupate on the ground amongst debris, each in a flimsy, net-like cocoon. A second generation of adults appears in July and August. Larvae of this generation complete their development in September or early October.
They pupate to produce adults that emerge in the autumn but then hibernate.
Adult 12-13 mm wingspan; forewings brown to blackish, marked with a pair of white spots (usually separated by black scales), and with two yellowish-brown and two black dorsal patches of scales ('scale teeth') (Plate lid) (Fig.
277). Larva up to 10mm long; body pale yellowish-white and transparent; pinacula large, black and each bearing a short, black seta; head, prothoracic plate and anal plate brown (Fig.
278). Pupa 5-6mm long, light brown; cremaster dome-like and terminating in a spine.
chaerophyllella (above) by their darker dorsal line, black head, black prothoracic plate and black pinacula.
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