[NAFEX] winter moths?

mangodance bmn at iglou.com
Sun Jun 1 11:02:14 EDT 2008

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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