[NAFEX] winter moths?

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Mon Jun 2 07:28:42 EDT 2008


Winter moth is neither a tent caterpillar nor a fall webworm.  It  
leaves some visible silk on the trees, but it doesn't build tents.   
We get minor damage from both tent caterpillars and fall webworms  
form time to time, but neither is an alarming problem at the moment.   
I don't do anything to avoid either other than keep an eye out for  
tents.

I'm pretty sure my "winter moth" is the same European invader than  
Diane Whitehead writes about, and I'm very glad to hear that  
importing its predators eventually brought it under control.

Ginda

On Jun 1, 2008, at 10:09 PM, Betty Mayfield wrote:

>
> I had assumed that the discussion concerned tent caterpillars, which
> on rare occasions have nested in my apple trees and had to be cut out
> because they were eating leaves.
>
> But a quick check with Google sounds in part like two complete
> different kinds of web spinners. The eastern tent caterpillar
> (Malacosoma americanum) spins tents at the crotches of limbs and the
> trunk in the spring. But something called the fall webworm (
>
> Hyphantria cunea
>
> ) spins tents at the end of branches and works down toward the tree
> in late summer and fall.
>
> The behavior of the tent-spinners was like the fall webworm, but a
> picture of an adult tent caterpillar was exactly like the moths that
> preceded the caterpillar outbreak.
>
> Have had only one severe attack, but the most of the leaves on apple
> trees were saved by cutting out and destroying the tents and branches
> as soon as they appeared.
>
> Betty Mayfield
> Northwest Oregon
>
> At 08:02 AM 6/1/2008, you wrote:
>> Alan Haigh wrote:
>>> The alleged epidemic of winter moths in the northeast has me a bit
>>> perplexed.  I've always had a minor problem on some sites where  
>>> trees
>>> with a light flower set will loose the potential very light crop  
>>> to some
>>> kind of flower eating caterpillar.  On the same sites trees with  
>>> a heavy
>>> set are unaffected by whatever reduction may be taking place.  The
>>> problem just isn't big enough to bother with.
>>>
>>> I subscribe to a couple of the trades like "Good Fruit Grower"  and
>>> "Fruit Grower News" the first published in Washington the other  
>>> Michigan
>>> and have never seen mention of this particular pest nor is it  
>>> mentioned
>>> in Cornell's "Pest Management Guidelines for Fruit Production" in  
>>> the
>>> 2007 edition or earlier.  Given the unique timing of its  
>>> emergence it
>>> makes no sense that it would be overlooked if it is such a potent
>>> threat.  Can anyone clear this up for me?
>>
>> I'm not sure which moth is being referred to as winter moth in the  
>> last
>> few posts.  Are we discussing the mainly European moth, Operophtera
>> brumata, which invades Canada and the northeast US every so often?
>>
>> Or...are we referring to the collective group of a good many moths in
>> various families that overwinter as adults which tend to feed on  
>> petals
>> and new leaflets of early flowering/leafing trees?  Usually when
>> lepidopterists refer to winter moths, they refer to this group of  
>> moths,
>> mainly in the family Noctuidae, and typically members of the genera
>> Eupsilia and Lithophane.  I do not know of this group really ever  
>> having
>> been a true pest as these species are usually legion and fruit and  
>> nut
>> set seem unaffected.
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