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Redhumped caterpillar

Schizura concinna (J.E. Smith)
Lepidoptera: Notodontidae

The adult is a grayish brown moth (A). The larva is yellow with a red head and is lined longitudinally with orangish, black, and white stripes. Several prominent black tubercles arise from the back, and there is a large reddish hump on top of the first abdominal segment (B).

Distribution

Most fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.

Damage

Attacks apple, pear, cherry, and quince. Young larvae feed at first as a group on a single leaf with their heads all pointing toward the outer edge of the leaf; they initially skeletonize the leaf, but within a few days they increase in size and spread out, entirely consuming a number of leaves (C). Defoliation of entire trees can occur occasionally, resulting in sunscald on the fruit.

Management

This insect causes little damage in regularly sprayed orchards. Remove and destroy larvae from affected branches. Use localized intervention on trees severely affected. Economic infestations can be controlled by the use of selective (e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis) or broad-spectrum insecticides.

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