The eggs are flattened, lenticular and whitish.
The larva (caterpillar) is almost transparent, grayish or green depending on the diet, with a brown head.
The chrysalis is protected by a fine silk cocoon.
The adult, 10-12 mm in length, has a gray-brown body. The anterior wings have irregularly distributed spots, among which two darker ones stand out, one towards their middle and the other at the end. The hind wings have a more uniform coloration and are bordered by a fringe of long hairs.
Symptoms and damages
The most serious damages are observed during the flowering season, and are produced exclusively by the caterpillars, since the adults feed on nectar and other sugary substances. In the attack to the flowers, the caterpillar penetrates in its interior to feed itself on the anthers and the pistil (Fig. 5). As a consequence, the flower, and therefore its corresponding fruit, are destroyed. Normally it tends to damage several nearby flowers, to which it unites with silk threads, forming nests within which there are dry petals and abundant excrements.
Occasionally it produces other damages:
In leaves, the larva can feed on the epidermis forming galleries. In buds, where it causes exudate of rubber droplets. It usually occurs in September-October over clementines and hybrids where, in the absence of flowers, it causes the young shoots to dry out. In grafts, they can dry out when the caterpillar penetrates beneath them. In freshly set fruits, caterpillars penetrate inside and destroy them. In more developed fruits, superficial spots appear similar to oleocellosis but with the corium of the egg in the center of the spot.
The laying is done, preferably, on the petals of flowers that are still closed. The caterpillar at birth leaves the part that touches the petal and penetrates directly into the interior of the flower. It passes through five very voracious larval stages until the chrysalis forms, which pupates normally within the inflorescence on which it has fed.
In a normal year they can develop in the order of 14-16 generations, although only those that coincide with abundant flowering are dangerous, which for the Verna type lemon tree is in April-May and September.
Inverna in a state of chrysalis in the branches of citrus fruits and in the bark of the trunks, or in the soil of the plantations. The adult flies at sunset and at dawn.
All the varieties are sensitive to their attacks, but the species and varieties with a more stepped flowering are those that suffer the most damage, especially Verna lemon and Clemenules mandarin.
- 45 days / 6 weeks
- Fruit trees
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