- Subfamily: Spilomelinae
- Wingspan: 18-24 mm
- Flight period: Jun - Oct
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Rosaceae
The Udea ferrugalis also called Rusty dot pearl is a moth of the Crambidae family, subfamily Spilomelinae, with a wingspan of 18-24 mm.
In Europe it is present practically everywhere, including Iceland. In Italy it is also present in the islands *.
The front wing of the Udea ferrugalis varies from ocher to hazel, with a series of spots and shades of gray / brown. The most "important" are an ovoid spot in the discoidal cell, a kidney spot in the median area and a serrated line in the post-discal region, all three gray / brown in color. A series of dark spots is visible along the edge. The wing is fringed in gray and ocher.
The hind wings are greyish in color with ocher and brown shades, more intense towards the edge and in particular on the apex. They too have a series of dark spots along the edge. These wings are also fringed in ocher and gray.
It is a bi or trivoltine moth, the adults can be observed flying from June (period in which they move on the vegetation and lay eggs, in plates, on the leaves) in October, depending on the position, and then overwinter in the ground or on the leaves, inside a silky cocoon, like chrysalises, even if adults are often visible all year round .
The approximately 10-15 mm long larvae are greenish with a yellowish head; a dark median and longitudinal line completes the livery.
This moth is sometimes considered a parasite. This fact is caused by the larvae attacking various cultivation plants (both the leaves and the still green pods) such as Soy, Chard, Pepper, Bean, Radicchio and other vegetables.
The larvae feed, in addition to the already mentioned Asteraceae plants such as Arctiumsp. and Eupatorium, of Lamiaceae as Mentha sp. and Stachys sp. and Rosaceae like Fragaria sp ..
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/