- Subfamily: Spilomelinae
- Wingspan: 27-32 mm
- Flight period: Jun - Oct
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Ericaceae, Oleaceae ...
The Palpita vitrealis also known by the synonym Palpita unionalis and commonly called Jasmine moth or White pearl
is a moth of the Crambidae family, subfamily Spilomelinae, with a wingspan of 27-32 mm.
In Europe it is mainly present in the southern area but it is also encountered further north due to its migratory nature, it is absent from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, Latvia and Lithuania. In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
Cosmopolitan moth can be found in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and America as already mentioned.
The color of the wings of the Palpita vitrealis is a translucent white with a black dot in the middle of all four wings and an ocher-brown costa that make it unmistakable. A series of black dots are visible along the edge. all wings are fringed in white.
The palpi, head, thorax and abdomen are pure white. In males, a tuft of white and black hairs may be visible at the end of the abdomen. **
Bi or trivoltina overwinters in the state of caterpillar. Adults are visible from spring to autumn depending on the location. They are mainly active at night and the mating, which starts from the second day from the flickering can be repeated several times.
The female lays about 600 eggs, after which she dies. The egg hatches in a period ranging from 3 to 20 days, depending on the temperature. The egg is oval in shape, flattened, yellowish white, finely reticulated 1 mm long and 0.5 wide.
Larval development lasts from 18 to 25 days. The larva has a pale yellow body, which turns green successively, with three pairs of small bristles arranged laterally on each segment. When fully developed, the larvae are 18-20 mm long. ***
The pupa is brown, finely wrinkled, 12 to 16 mm long, 3 to 4 mm wide.
The larvae feed on Ericaceae such as Arbutus unedo, but especially on Oleaceae such as Jasminum officinale (jasmine), Ligustrum (Ligustro), Fraxinus (ash), Forsythia (forsythia) and Olea europaea (olive tree).
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Determination of the Life Cycle of the Olive Fruit Leaf Moth, Palpita unionalis (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae) in the Laboratory - bioone.org › 024.095.0125.pdf - https://bioone.org/journals/Florida-Entomologist