Epiphyas postvittana

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Epiphyas postvittana (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Donald Hobern
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) - (light brown apple moth)

The moth is an important polyphageous pest of grapes, apple, pears, citrus, other fruit trees, vegetables and ornamentals. It is native to south-eastern Australia, but invasive in several countries like New Zealand, New Caledonia, Ireland, U.K. and the U.S.A. (Hawaii and since 2006 in California). Strict quarantine treatments of export crops are in place to prevent further spread of the moth. The larvae feed on the surfaces of leaves or fruits and may tunnel into berries and fruits. The webbing they produce often rolls the leaves or ties them together.

The presence of moths can be monitored by pheromone traps. For control, insecticides or mineral oils and mating disruption by pheromones are used. Fumigation or irradiation is necessary for fruits to be exported. While the moth is considered a pest in Australia and New Zealand, it did not reach damaging levels on crops in Europe or in California (status of 2013).

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: hellbraune Apfelmotte
• English: light brown apple moth
• Español: polilla de la manzana
• Français: pyrale brun pâle de la pomme

The adults have a wingspan of about 20 mm. They are light brown with a variable pattern of dark brown on the forewings, which are about 10 mm long. Males are smaller than females. There are 2-4 generations per year, depending on the climate.

For details see the review by Suckling and Brockerhoff, 2010 and the respective page in Wikipedia.