Lobesia (Lobesia) botrana
([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
- Subfamily: Olethreutinae, Lobesiini
- Wingspan: 10-17 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Lobesia botrana is a moth of the Tortricidae family with a wingspan of 10-17 mm.
It is distributed in most of Europe, in fact it is absent from Ireland, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark,
Croatia, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Ukraine. *
Its range extends to North Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia to Thailand and Japan and South America (Chile and Argentina, ***).
In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
The front wings of Lobesia botrana are variegated in color with the presence of ocher, white with a square lead-colored patch, when at rest and the wings are joined.
The costa is dark, streaked with black. It has moderately well-defined, but diffuse markings of ocher color, suffused with light olive-brown, with additions of black. **
Sexual dimorphism is visible in the hind wings, in males it is shaded white in the distal zone, in the female it is completely shaded dark gray.
There are two annual generations in the northern limit of its distribution range and three generations in the south.
Exceptionally, in warm years, there is a partial fourth generation but the larvae often die before they are fully developed.
The moths are mainly active in the early evening hours.
Females lay their eggs on the fruit and stems of food plants. They hatch in 5-11 days.
The larvae of the first generation feed on flowers or develop on fruit, those of the summer generations develop on the fruit. Wintering occurs in the pupal stage.
The damage on the vine strongly depends on the development phase of the plant. Before and during flowering the larvae at first penetrate into the individual flower buds and later bind several buds together, in which they remain and continue their feeding business.
At this stage, the level of tolerance of the infestation is relatively high and depends on the ability of the vine to compensate for the damage. For example, the 'Cabernet Sauvignon' cultivation can tolerate up to two larvae per flower without any reduction in yield. ***
The larvae of the summer generations infest the grapes. *****
The most serious damage is not necessarily caused by the actual destruction of some berries by the larva, but from the fungus Botrytis cinerea Persoon, which develops rapidly on the lesions caused by the larvae. ****
The egg, with a diameter of 0.6 - 0.7 mm, is lenticular, flattened, yellowish sub-round when it is deposited it then becomes light gray and then darken on one side in the "black head" stage and blacken near the hatching.
The larva of the Lobesia botrana has a yellowish brown head; prothorax brown and flat, sometimes darker on the posterior part of the margin; the abdomen varies from yellowish green to whitish brown or brown, with a finely knurled integument, the pupa is greenish brown. **
The main host plant is Vitis vinifera (vine), but it is a polyphagous species in fact it has also been reported on Clematis vitalba, Cornus mas (dogwood), Cornus sanguinea (sanguinella), Swida sp., Lonicera xylosteum (thorny honeysuckle), Viburnum lantana (lantana), Ligustrum vulgare (privet), Ribes Grossularia (raisin), Ribes rubrum (red currant), Hedera helix and Berberis (ivy), Daphne gnidium, Ziziphus vulgaris (jujube), Rhus glabra, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Arbustus unedo (strawberry tree).
In Greece, the larvae have been found feeding on olive inflorescences (Olea), and in Kenya, the larvae also feed on berries of the Coffea (coffee) plant. ******
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** European Grapevine Moth - https://www2.ipm.ucanr.edu/Invasive-and-Exotic-Pests/European-grapevine-moth/
****** D.E. Evans, O. Andrade and W M. Mathenge 1968: The Biology and Control of Archips occidentalis (Wals.) and Tortrix dinota Meyr (Lepidoptera Tortricidae) on Coffee in Kenya