Onion Moth (Acrolepiopsis Assectella)

Pest Type: Lily Crop Pest

Row: Lepidoptera – Lepidoptera

Family: Acrolepids – Acrolepiidae

In Russia it is ubiquitous. It damages onions, garlic, less often other plants of the onion family.

A small butterfly, wingspan 13-16 mm; the front wings are dark brown or gray with a slightly contrasting white pattern and with a sharp light wedge-shaped spot in front of the middle of the rear edge of the wing; hind wings are plain, light gray, with a long border. The egg is oval, milky in color, 0.4 mm long. Caterpillar of the last age 10-11 mm long, yellow-green in color with brown warts. The pupa is dark brown, 7 mm long, is formed in a loose, grayish, pavutinochastny cocoon, which weaves a caterpillar.

Pupae overwinter, less often butterflies under plant debris. Butterflies begin to fly in April – May, are active at night. Females lay eggs one at a time on the outside of the leaves, the neck of the bulb, flower arrows. Fertility – 50-75 eggs. After 5-7 days, caterpillars appear from the eggs.

Making a narrow winding course in the pulp of the leaf, they penetrate the inner side of the tubular leaves or arrows. Here the caterpillars eat out tissues in the form of irregularly shaped strips, leaving the outer skin intact, the buds of flowers eat out in inflorescences, and the pedicels bite during flowering, causing seed death. Caterpillar feeding lasts 12-16 days.

They pupate on the leaves of onions or nearby weeds in a mesh cocoon characteristic of the family. After 9-19 days, butterflies of the next generation fly out. 2-3 generations are developing in Russia.

Protective measures. Destruction of post-harvest residues, weed control, deep autumn plowing, loosening of the soil, crop rotation. In seed plots in case of a dangerous number of pests (more than 2 caterpillars per plant at 10% population) – treatment of crops with insecticides at the beginning of caterpillar revival.

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