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Aglaope infausta L.
Insecta, Lepidoptera, Zygaenidae .

Almond tree leaf skeletonizer moth

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult with a wingspan of 20 mm; its wings are of general grey colour, with some red towards the base. Thorax black, crossed with a red band. Body covered with hairs. Both sexes have pectinate antennae (*) (*) .
- Larva: the caterpillar is stumpy (at most 14 x 3.5 mm); head small and retractible into the prothorax. A longitudinal yellow band with black spots runs along its dorsum; laterally there are brown bands divided by longitudinal black bands; several bristles implanted on wine-red tubercles appear along the dorsum (*) .
- pupa: pink or yellowish, parchment-like, similar to a pine seed, 10 mm long. Pupation sites at the junction of branches or under bark.

almond is the preferred host plant.
- The species spends most of summer, autumn and winter as a young caterpillar, enclosed in a silk cocoon hidden under the bark of the tree. At the end of winter and in the beginning of spring, when the tree has produced yellow leaves, the caterpillar eats them from the lower side. During the course of its growth, which takes 3 weeks, it becomes more and more voracious and only leaving only the midribs.
- Pupa : pupal stage lasts 1 month.
- The moths emerge in July, in the South of Portugal. They mate, lay eggs and die shortly after.
- The eggs hatch in July: the young caterpillars feed on what remains of the foliage or on fresh growth.

- Feeding by the caterpillars emerging from hibernation considerably reduces the development of almonds. The young caterpillars of the following generation increase the extent of damage and the tree may die of exhaustion in the following period of growth.
- The most serious attacks are reported during fresh summers, in which the feeding period of the caterpillars is protracted, whilst during dry summers, because of the slowing down of the growth of the almond tree, the caterpillars form their hibernaculum earlier.

[R]Common Names
DE: ?? ES: Orugueta del almendro FR: Zygène de l'amandier IT: Zigena del mandorio PT: Lagarta da amendoeira GB: Almond-tree leaf skeletonizer moth

[R] Images

  1. Aglaope infausta L. (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Adult at rest on leaf of apple
  2. Aglaope infausta L. (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Larva on leaf of apple
  3. Aglaope infausta L. Larva (Retaud P. / SRPV Cognac)
  4. Aglaope infausta L. Cocoon (Retaud P. / SRPV Cognac)
  5. Aglaope infausta L. Mating (Retaud P. / SRPV Cognac)

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