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Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Boyd)
Phthorimaea ocellatella

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Gelechiidae .

Beet moth

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

- Adult: 10 to 12 mm wingspan. Narrow fore wings, yellowish grey, sprinkled with little rounded dark spots; light grey fore wings. The wings are bordered by long bristles (*) .
- Egg: Oval, 0.5 mm long, white with a pearly sheen.
- Larva: the young caterpillar is greenish white, the dorsal side darker green. At the end of its growth, it measures 10 to 12 mm. The dorsal surface becomes reddish and has 2 to 3 pinkish longitudinal lines (*) .

- This moth is common on Chenopodiaceae and particularly on sea beet (Beta maritima), beets and garden beet. It also develops on orach (Atriplex) and amaranths (Amaranthus).
- Adult: dusk-flying moth. Mating and egg laying only occur when the temperature is above 11°C. The lifespan is between 25 to 30 days. Average fecundity: 40 to 70 eggs.
- Eggs: deposited in clusters of 1 to 6 on the leaves. Development lasts 7 days at 23°C.
- Larva: following emergence, it invades the young leaves of the centre of the plant in which it forms irregular galleries. It also penetrates the petiole and the collar in which they form galleries of 1 to 3 cm in depth lined with a silken web (*) .
Its growth finished, the caterpillar pupates in dry places: leaves, grasses, stone, store-pit ventilation chimneys (*) .

[R]Life Cycle
- 3 annual generations.
- The first important moth flights occur at the end of April and during May. Development ceases under 10°C and hibernation occurs in the caterpillar or pupal stage in the collar of the host, in the ground or store-pits.

- Beet seedlings attacked by caterpillars die rapidly. The older plants develop irregulary; the leaves are distorted and embossed, the veins are eaten, the petiole perforated; the collar turns to a blackish mass (*) .

[R]Common Names
DE: Rübenmotte ES: Polilla de la remolacha FR: Teigne de la betterave IT: Tignola della barbabietola PT: Traça da beterraba GB: Beet moth

[R] Images

  1. Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Boyd) (BASF)
  2. Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Boyd) (BASF)
    Larvae attacking beet
  3. Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Boyd) pupa (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  4. Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Boyd) Larva and damage on beet A leaf has been folded back to show the cavity and the larva.
  5. Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Boyd) Adult (Coutin R. / OPIE)

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