Lobesia botrana (European grapevine moth) - Fact Sheet

Background

Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), also known as the European grapevine moth, is currently regulated as a quarantine pest by Canada under policy directive D-95-08 General import requirements for fresh temperate fruits from the world. It is also regulated as a quarantine pest by the United States (where it is under eradication in California) and Chile (where it is under official control). It is also regulated by Argentina, Australia, China, Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan.

Host

The preferred host of L. botrana is Vitis vinifera (grape). However, it may also feed on several other plants or plant products, including Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Urginea maritime (sea squill), Prunus spp. (stone fruit), Punica granatum (pomegranate), Ribes spp. (currant, gooseberry) and Rubus spp. (blackberry, raspberry).

Distribution

  • Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Morocco
  • Asia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (Republic of), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
  • Europe: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and in United Kingdom, most likely indoor interceptions only
  • The Americas: Argentina, Chile and the United States (California)

Biology

The female moth (Fig. 1) lays eggs singly on individual grape berries but it may also lay eggs in groups of two or three on blossoms or on the stems of grapevines. The female can lay more than 300 eggs at a rate of approximately 35 per day. Eggs hatch in seven to 11 days in the spring, and three to five days in the summer.

Larvae of the first generation feed on flower buds and flowers, while the later generations feed on fruits. Pupae of the first generations occur inside fruit or in folded leaves. Pupae overwinter beneath the bark or in fissures on the stems of woody plants. Adults first emerge in April or May; final generations emerge in August to September. Development ceases at temperatures below 10.5°C.

Identification

Egg (Fig. 5 and 6): The egg

  • is lenticular and iridescent, with fine polygonal reticulation;
  • is initially yellow, becoming translucent grey; and
  • measures 0.7 x 0.6 mm.

Eggs are usually laid singly, and more rarely in small clusters of two or three.

Larva (Fig. 7 to 10): The larva has the following characteristics:

  • a pale yellowish brown head;
  • a slender body varying from greenish yellow to light brown, translucent, dull;
  • pinacula pale and shiny;
  • prothoracic plate brown, posterior margin darker;
  • anal plate yellow;
  • thoracic legs brown; and
  • anal comb present.

Mature larva reaches 10-12 mm long, 2 mm wide. There are usually five larval instars.

Pupa (Fig. 3 and 4): The freshly formed pupa

  • is usually cream or light brown and few hours later becomes dark brown, slender;
  • has dorsal abdominal bands of spines that are well developed; and
  • has a cremaster that is fan shaped, with four dorsal and four dorsolateral setae.

The pupal cocoon consists of white-grey silk threads, and is 8-10 mm long, 3 mm wide.

Adult (Fig. 1 and 2): Adult of this tortricid has

  • a wingspan of 12-13 mm;
  • a body length 6-7 mm;
  • a forewing that is whitish brown, with intricate brown and purplish grey patterns, a dark brown median band, and a fringe border of dense olive green hairs.

The hind wing is white, suffused with grey towards the tip, and has a border fringe of grey scales. The head and thorax are white, suffused with brown; the abdomen is grey; and the antennae are simple, filiform.

Signs and symptoms

Inspectors should look for superficial damage on fruits and the remnants of flowers. Partially eaten or shrivelled fruits, and rotting fruits contaminated by larval frass and webbing, are key indicators. Larvae feed inside fruit, so damage to the fruit may only be noticed when the larvae are large or populations are high. A hand lens may be necessary to detect early instars.

On nursery stock or on grape vines, inspectors should look for the overwintering pupae in cocoons under bark and in fissures on the stems. The presence of webbing (agglomerating a few flowers together) and frass may also be an indication of an infestation (Fig. 11).

Adult moth
Fig. 1. Adult moth
Adult moth
Fig. 2. Adult moth (photo Andrea Lucchi)
Overwintering pupa
Fig. 3. Overwintering pupa (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Pupae, female top, male bottom
Fig. 4. Pupae, female top, male bottom (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Egg on vine inflorescence
Fig. 5. Egg on vine inflorescence (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Egg on flower bud
Fig. 6. Egg on flower bud (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
First instar larva
Fig. 7. First instar larva (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Second instar larva
Fig. 8. Second instar larva (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Fourth instar larva
Fig. 9. Fourth instar larva (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Fifth instar larva
Fig. 10. Fifth instar larva (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
Larval nest on inflorescence
Fig. 11. Larval nest on inflorescence (photo Bruno Bagnoli)
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