Though it is a small moth, the Pitch Twig Tip's caterpillar is considered a pest. The adult female lays eggs on the ends of a pine tree's stem and when the egg hatches, the caterpillar digs into the bud, or tip. The feeding behavior of the caterpillar causes the stem tip to turn brown and curl, killing any chance of extended growth from that branch. The result is a tree with unsightly brown ends, and stunted growth. While pitch pines are popular hosts for this species, other local pines may also suffice.
The small brown and white moth is easily overlooked in a conifer forest, but an infested tree may give clues to the caterpillar’s presence. Gummy masses on tree bark that appear discolored may be a sign of activity for some types of Pitch Tip moths. Strategies to reduce infestation and damage are difficult to employ. Maintaining good tree health can aid in minimizing the interest a moth may have in a tree. Open wounds on trees from pruning and lawn trimmers may attract the insect.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.