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  • Grape Leaffolder - (Desmia funeralis)

    Grape Leaffolder - (Desmia funeralis)

    Active during the day, the Grape Leaffolder can have an impact on grapevines in one summer and fruit production in the next.

    Picture of Grape Leaffolder
    Staff Writer (8/17/2017): Often found near grapevines, the Grape Leaffolder is a visitor growers prefer to never encounter. Easy to spot thanks to black wings and large, obvious white ovals, the larvae of this species is a pest.

    Caterpillars start out a pale orange, and become a paler yellow with blackening inside the body. The orange head black blotches on the sides of the 'collar'. Two black spots on each side of the first segment begin a line of translucent spots along the body. They feed on evening primrose, redbud, and grape leaves. Groups of larvae use their silk to tie bunches of leaves together. Each will choose a leaf and roll, or fold, it up, creating a tube to both hide in and feed from by day, leaving leaf skeletons behind. At night, caterpillars move on to fresh leaves. Once summer is over and leaves begin drying, caterpillars fold down the edges of the leaf they are inside and fall to the ground with it. They pupate in this protective, inconspicuous cover and emerge as winged adults in the spring.

    Because the dark green top and light green bottom of a grape leaf is different, spotting the presence of caterpillars is as easy as noticing the change in color on a section of the plant. Small patches of infestation may be tolerated. Parasitic wasps, predatory flies and other insect-eating bugs naturally reduce the population of Grape Leaffolder caterpillars. Spraying appropriate insecticides on the vines that are affected is also effective. Populations without control can chew up enough foliage to weaken fruit production the next year. If too much leaf coverage is eaten, ripening fruit may experience damage from overexposure to sunlight.

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    Details of the:
    Grape Leaffolder

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Grape Leaffolder
    Scientific Name: Desmia funeralis

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Crambidae
           Genus: Desmia
            Species: funeralis

    Size (Adult, Length): 22mm to 30mm (0.87in to 1.18in)

    Identifying Colors: white, black

    Additional Descriptors: white, ovals, spots, purple, round, flying, harmful, pest

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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