back to HYPP Zoology home page

Cydia molesta (Busck)
Grapholitha molesta, Laspeyresia molesta

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Tortricidae .

Oriental peach moth, Oriental fruit moth

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

- Adult: 16 mm wingspan. The fore wings, dark brown-black, with on the anal side a slanted spot formed by white scales and on the anterior side white lines. The hind wings are uniform grey-brown. The legs and the abdomen are silvery (*) .
- Egg: elliptic, about 1 mm long. Whitish immediately after having been laid, it becomes yellowish a few days later. It has a reddish ring inside the yolk which disappears once the caterpillar forms.
- Larva: 5 larval instars. Once development is complete, the caterpillar can reach 15 mm ion lenght. Its body, firstly white, becomes pink in the final instar. Its head is light brown.
- Pupa: light brown, about 6 mm.

- Host plants: peach, also pear, apple, quince, apricot and plum.
- Adult: the moth flies in orchards at sunset throughout the vegetative period. Egg laying occurs once the temperature at dusk is above 15°C and lasts 10 to 15 days for one female. The eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves (*) .
- Fecundity: about 50 eggs.
- Egg: the length of embryonic development varies depending on the season; from 7 to 14 days in Spring, from 3 to 6 days in summer and up to 20 days in autumn.
- Larva: Following hatching, the young caterpillar penetrates the young shoot (*) . The entry hole, very close to the egg, is generally situated on a leaf vein; the caterpillar then reaches the branch at the level of the insertion point.
During the formation of the descending gallery, of 3 to 5 cm in length, the caterpillar ejects frass around the opening. The plant reacts by producing a gummy exudation leading in certain cases to the death of the caterpillar. When the young branches become too woody, the caterpillar then attacks the fruit which has reached 3/4 of its development, a month and half before harvest.
The caterpillar can also penetrate very young fruit by perforating the epidermis close to the peduncle. In this case, the wandering stage of the neonate larva can last several hours.
- Pupa: development lasts 10 to 15 days.

[R]Life Cycle
- 4 generations which partially overlap.
- The appearance of the first moths from the hibernating generation is end of March beginning of April and can last for 2 months. Egg laying is then continued from April-May to September-October. One caterpillar can bore through several shoots. Its then undergoes metamorphosis in a thick cocoon under the bark of the branches or under a shelter at the ground surface. caterpillars finish feeding in September and the majority belong to the fourth generation, enter into diapause in a silken cocoon spun on the trunk or on the ground.

- On young peach shoots, damage can be important in nurseries (*) .
- Damage can occur on shield-grafts in September.
The most important damage is due to attacks on fruit. On late varieties, the damage is often invisible, the caterpillar directing itself towards the stone without any visible perforation of the skin.
- On plum and apricot trees, damage is less: the fruits are rarely attacked and the young shoots are only favourable for the insect's development at a time when the multiplication of the species is not possible.
- On apple and pear, orchard infestations depend on the proximity of peach plantations. The branches are almost never reached; in the case of apples, the caterpillars penetrate the peduncular cavity and rapidly gain the pip area (*) ; in the case of pears, only the autumn and winter varieties are attacked, the caterpillar's development continuing during non-refrigerated storage (in a cold room, its development is interrupted).

[R]Common Names
DE: Pfirsichtriebbohrer, Pfirsichwickler ES: Polilla oriental del melocotonero FR: Tordeuse orientale du pêcher IT: Tignola orientale del pesco PT: Traça oriental do pessegueiro GB: Oriental peach moth, Oriental fruit moth

[R] Images

  1. Cydia molesta (Busck) Young larva Shortly after invading in a shoot of the current year. A leaf has been folded back to bud level.
  2. Cydia molesta (Busck) Oeuf Laid on the underside of a peach leaf.
  3. Cydia molesta (Busck) Damage on a peach Frass is expelled outside the fruit.
  4. Cydia molesta (Busck) Damage on a peach shoot (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  5. Cydia molesta (Busck) Resting moth (Coutin R. / OPIE)

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

back to HYPP Zoology home page