Orange Tortrix

Orange Tortrix

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Common names: Orange Tortrix

Scientific name: Argyrotaenia citrana

Region: This Caterpillar is found in the southwestern United States and the Far West.

Life cycle: This insect produces two to four generations each year and overwinters as a larvae in garden debris.  They pupate in leaves and flowers at the tips of twigs.

Physical Description: This 1/2 inch long caterpillar is light green or gold with a light brown head.  The adult moth is tan or rust colored with a black mark shaped in a V when the wings are folded at rest.  The wingspan on this moth is about 1/2 an inch.  The eggs are cream colored discs that are laid on both leaf tops and bottoms in overlapping masses.

Feeding characteristics: This pest attacks apple, apricot, citrus, pear, and plum plants.  The larvae make nests by rolling leaves into a web and feed within on the foliage.

They will also bore into citrus, such as oranges, scarring them near the bottom and causing them to drop before their time.

Controls: Destroy the eggs as they appear and catch the adult moths with electronic light traps.  If you see a caterpillar with white eggs on its back, don't pick it, as they might be the eggs of a parasite that will produce beneficial wasps.  For serious infestations, Bacillus thuringiensis kills the larvae.  Pyrethrum dust or spray has been found to be very effective against this pest.

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