- Subfamily: Olethreutinae, Endotheniini
- Wingspan: 15-19 mm
- Flight period: May - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Dipsacus fullonum
The Endothenia gentianaeana is a moth of the Tortricidae family, subfamily Olethreutinae, with a wingspan of 15-19 mm.
Distributed throughout Europe with the exception of the Scandinavian regions, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia and some Baltic states. *
In Italy it is absent from Sardinia. *
The front wings of Endothenia gentianaeana are predominantly brown in color with much lighter streaks, usually shows more purplish or greyish areas in the basal area of the anterior wing but these markings can vary greatly, in particular the degree of whiteness in the basal zone and in the black spots present.
Two bands are almost always visible, one in the discal region of gray color with ocher edges, and one in the post-discal region of grayish or light ocher color. The costa has a series of double signs, generally ocher in color from the basal region to the apex.
The hind wings are darker gray towards the edge; all wings are fringed. **
Head, thorax and abdomen are brown with ocher and gray streaks.
Univoltine species is visible from late May to early August; she is partially attracted to artificial lights. The preferred habitats are made up of grassy areas, embankments, roadsides where there are host plants.
It winters at the pupa stage **
This species has been considered as a biological control agent for thistle in the United States. ***
The Endothenia gentianaeana larva is white / yellowish with a brown head and prothoracic shield.
It always nourishes itself individually on the medulla, in the cavity of a seed head of the Dipsacus fullonum (thistle) where the pupation also takes place. **
The pupa has a yellow ocher / brown color.
As mentioned, the larvae feed on Dipsacus fullonum even if there are reports on Plantago media and Gentiana acaulis.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Sforza, R.; Bon, M.C. (2008). Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds