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Gortyna flavago (Denis & Schiffermüller)
Xanthoecia flavago

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae .

Frosted orange moth

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

- Adult: fore wings pale brown nearly yellowish, with a span of 30 to 40 mm; hind wings are greyish yellow with darker venation.
- Egg: about 0.8 to 0.5 mm, quite flat, whitish-yellow in colour at laying, becoming salmon pink and finally dark grey.
- Larva: the neonate caterpillar, 2 to 3 mm long, is reddish or brownish in colour with a blackish head; at full development, it measures 40 to 50 mm and its colour varies from whitish to yellowish with a more or less dark brown head (*) .
- Pupa: chestnut brown, about 30 mm long. Forked cremaster.

This moth is typically restricted to the artichoke but also attacks hop, potato and tomato.
- Adults: normally appear from September to November; may also appear in July, and can be observed as late as December.
- Eggs: laid in clusters at the neck of plants, on dry leaves, on the earth nearby or at a certain distance on stakes, bark, etc, at a rate of several hundred or a thousand per female.
Eggs do not hatch before January-February of the following year; In Spain and Sardinia, hatching may occur as early as October.
- Larva: although ready-formed, the caterpillar may remain within the chorion for a certain period. After an active search phase related to egg dispersion, it moves to a leaf, mining the central vein from the apex towards the base, then attacking the peduncle of the flower, up which it climbs to the capitulum.
On reaching full growth, in August-September, it reverses its travel and descends. On reaching the root, it pupates in a superficial cocoon with the exit hole slightly above ground level.

[R]Life Cycle
- One generation per year.

Damage is due to ascending caterpillars in stems bearing developed capitula, and/or descending caterpillars on buds.
Infested plants show the aeration holes of galleries along their stems, as well as holes through which abundant black frass is ejected.
Percentage infestation progressively increases from year to year in artichoke plantations, reaching 100 % in the 3rd or 4th year.

- This moth is found throughout Europe and in parts of Asia.
- Dry soil favours the mortality of neonate larvae searching for their host plant.

[R]Common Names
DE: Gelbe Artischokeneule ES: Taladro de la alcachofa FR: Noctuelle jaune de l'artichaut IT: Nottua minore del carciofo PT: Nóctua amarela da alcachofra GB: Frosted orange moth

[R] Images

  1. Gortyna flavago (Schiffermüller) Moth (in Frieder-Sauer)
  2. Gortyna flavago (Schiffermüller) Larva (in Frieder-Sauer)

To read this page in French

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