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Mineola moth (Destructive pruneworm)

Acrobasis tricolorella (Grote)
Lepidoptera: Pyralidae

Adult is a bluish gray moth that assumes a wedge shape when at rest. It has a transverse broad white stripe bordered by a smaller reddish brown stripe in the middle of the forewings; a smaller set of similar bands occur near the posterior edge (A). The larva has a brown head, with a body that is dark grayish brown dorsally and reddish brown ventrally, and marked with many short spines (B).

Distribution

Southern Canada and south to ME and MI.

Damage

Attacks cherry mainly, also plum, and may be found in apple. Overwintered larvae feed on and consume fruit buds (C) and developing flower parts, later forming nests in leaf terminals from which they continue to feed. Early summer larvae attack the fruits (D) and feed around the pits as they near harvest.

Similar Species

Adult and larval forms resemble American plum borer (Euzophera semifuneralis), which is closely related. May be distinguished by the fact that it does not bore into cambial tissue.

Management

Rare in occurrence, so intervention is seldom needed. Chemical controls can be applied against overwintered larvae in the spring between green tip and white bud, and against emerging moths in late June.

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