Yponomeuta cf. padella
- Wingspan: 19-22 mm
- Flight period: Jun - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Rosaceae
The Yponomeuta padella also know as Orchard Ermine is a moth of the Yponomeutidae family with a wingspan of 19-22 mm.
Moth widespread throughout Europe with the exception of Slovenia and Croatia *
Its range includes the whole Palearctic region. ***
In Italy it is also present in Sicily. *
The front wings of the Yponomeuta padella are generally pure white and are flecked with black dots, usually 12 to 16, the hind wings are greyish and fringed.
Difficult to distinguish from related species except by dissection of the genitals.
Some authors believe that the Yponomeuta does not have two different species: Yponomeuta padella which attacks the shrubby Rosaceae; the Yponomeuta malinellus which attacks the apple tree but that the two are conspecific, given that in addition to the physical aspect, the biological cycle is also very similar.
The Yponomeuta padella hibernates in the larval stage, still protected by the outer shell of the egg, in the eggs laid on the branches in the previous summer.
In the following spring (April-May) the larvae will come out of the egg and start their trophic activity, causing the damage mentioned. At the end of spring, the larvae become crystallized in the silky nests and the adults flutter in the summer (June-July). ****
These mate and, towards the month of August, deposit their eggs on the twigs; the wintering larvae will evolve from these eggs.
The Yponomeuta padella therefore makes only one generation per year.
As soon as they are laid, the eggs have a yellow color, which over time becomes wine red. ***
The larva of the Yponomeuta padella is similar to that of the congener Yponomeuta malinellus from pale yellow to gray-blue slate after the first moult. **
The ocher-yellow chrysalis, slightly darker on the cremaster and on the head.
The larvae feed on Prunus spinosa, Crataegus and Prunus sp ..
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Capinera, J. L. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Entomology, 4 voll., 2nd Ed., Dordrecht, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2008, pp. lxiii
**** Istruzione agraria online - https://www.agraria.org/entomologia-agraria/iponomeuta-del-melo.htm