Plutella xylostella

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Plutella xylostella (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Tom Murray
Source: BugGuide

Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) - (diamondback moth)

The moth infests cruciferous crops like cabbage and rape, often resulting in defoliation. There are few reports from other crops. It has a world-wide distribution and is found wherever cabbage is grown. Its short life cycle and its ability to quickly develop resistance to pesticides has made it to a very serious pest.

The life cycle from egg, through 4 instars to mature adult last about 1 month, but may be as short as 2 weeks. There may be 6 or more generations per year. Crop rotation and encouraging natural enemies is often the most practical control strategy.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Kohlschabe
Kohlmotte
Schleiermotte
• English: diamondback moth
• Español: polilla de la col
• Français: teigne des crucifères
fausse-teigne des crucifères
papillon de nuit à dos diamant
• Português: traça-das-crucíferas

The adult is small (wingspan about 15 mm) and has a brownish colour with a wavy light line along the forewing. When at rest, the light lines from both wings seem to form three diamonds on the back of the moth. The larvae are green.

Synonyms:
Cerostoma xylostella
Plutella maculipennis

For a review see Philips et al. 1914).