Lobesia botrana Denis Schiffermiiller European vine moth

This species is an important pest of grape vines in southern Europe. Larvae destroy flower buds and, sometimes, cause the death of complete inflorescences; later in the season, larvae damage or destroy the developing grapes. Moulds often develop on the damaged tissue, which can lead to additional problems.

BIOLOGY

Adults of this species emerge in late April or early May. Eggs are laid mainly on flower buds and hatch a week or so later. Larvae of the first generation feed within the flower buds and may also burrow into peduncles. Pupation occurs in the larval habitation, moths of the next generation appearing in about a week. Development of the second generation is often very rapid and, if conditions are particularly favourable, there may be further generations. The winter is passed in the pupal stage, within cocoons spun under bark, in cracks on supporting posts and in other sheltered situations.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 15-20 mm wingspan; forewings creamish-white, with a variegated pattern of reddish-brown and blackish markings; hindwings dark brownish-grey (female) or whitish-grey (male). Larva up to 9 mm long; body greyish-green or yellowish-green to brownish; head yellowish-brown; prothoracic plate brown; anal plate pale brownish-yellow; anal comb with six to eight prongs.

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