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Palpita unionalis Hübner
Margaronia unionalis

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Pyralidae .

Jasmine moth

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


[R]Description
- Adult: moth triangular shape in repose. Colour usually very pale, whitish. Wings semi-transparent and satin-like. Fore wings have brown markings, with two black spots in the middle. Wingspan 30 mm (*) .
- Egg: flattened oval, yellowish-white, finely reticulated. 1 mm long, 0.5 mm wide.
- Larva: pale yellow body at hatching, becoming an increasingly green. 3 pairs of small setae sited laterally on each segment. At full development, the caterpillar measures 18 to 20 mm long.
- pupa: brown, slightly roughened; 12 to 16 mm long, 3 to 4 mm wide.

[R]Biology
- Host plants: olive, as well as jasmine (Jasminum), privet (Ligustrum), ash (Fraxinus), arbutus (Arbutus unedo).
- The first adults appear at the beginning of spring. They are active at night and mate from the second day. Pairing lasts 4 to 6 hours and may be repeated many times.
The egg-laying period spreads over 11 to 30 days, depending on the season. The female dies immediately afterwards.
- The female lays about 600 eggs, usually singly, on the upper or lower surface of foliage.
The egg hatches after 3 to 20 days, depending on the temperature, the lower threshold for development being 9°C.
- Larval development lasts 18 to 25 days. The caterpillars feed on young foliage sited at the end of branches, at first scouring one surface, then cutting the lamina.
Before pupation, the caterpillar constructs a shelter by spinning several leaves together with silken threads.

[R]Life Cycle
The species has 2 or 3 generations each year.
Winter is passed as larvae.

[R]Damage
Under normal conditions, the caterpillars are not numerous, and the damage they cause is economically insignificant. However, in nurseries, they may prevent the healthy formation of plants.
First-instar larvae at first scour the parenchyma of the underside of leaves. When older, the caterpillars cause tears in the foliage and may destroy terminal buds.
Second-generation caterpillars attack developing olives, eating them sometimes down to the stone.


[R]Common Names
DE: Jasminzünsler ES: Pauillac verde del olivo FR: Pyrale du jasmin IT: Tignola dell'olivo PT: Pirale verde da oliveira GB: Jasmine moth

[R] Images

  1. Palpita unionalis Hübner Moth (Santini / University of Pise)

To read this page in French

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

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