European Grapevine Moth (Lobesia botrana)
The European grapevine moth is a member of the family of tortrix moths. As the larvae hollow out the fruits of the plants they feed on, leaving their excrement behind, they are considered a huge pest in vineyards.
These moths are indigenous to southern Italy, but their population eventually spread to southern, and central Europe and even in areas outside it, including the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. Certain Argentinian provinces like Concordia, and Cafayate has managed to successfully eradicate these moths.
In October 2009 it was first detected in California’s Napa Valley, but the state finally rid themselves from these invasive species in 2016.
Description and Identification
The larvae has a yellowish-green to light brown body and a light yellow head. They reach up to 0.8-0.9 cm in length.
Pupation takes place inside a silk cocoon, and the pupa appears brown.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present
The females are a little larger than their male counterparts.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When the wings are opened, their surface is covered with gray, tan brown, or dark brown blotches and patches. The blotched pattern remains visible when the wings are closed.
Hindwing: When the wings are opened, they are gray with fringes near the body. When the wings are closed, the fringed pattern can still be seen.
Average wingspan: 1.2 -1.3 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic
Season: Early spring to midsummer
The lentil-shaped small eggs measuring 1 mm, are yellowish at the onset, turning gray later. A female moth can produce over 300 eggs in her lifetime, laying around 35 eggs daily.
|Other Names||European grape worm, European grape moth, European vine moth|
|Distribution||Native: Southern Italy; also found in Anatolia, North Africa, the Caucasus, and Southern Europe|
Invasive: Japan, Argentina, Chile, parts of North America, mainly California
|Lifespan of Adults||1-3 weeks|
|Host Plants||Primarily grape and spurge laurel. Also, European blackberry, European olive, European plum, golden kiwifruit, pomegranate, and wild cherry|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- The Austrian duo of lepidopterist Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael Denis and naturalist Ignaz Schiffermüller first described this species in 1775.