Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Zeuzera pyrina
(moth, wood leopard)

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Datasheet

Zeuzera pyrina (moth, wood leopard)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 October 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Zeuzera pyrina
  • Preferred Common Name
  • moth, wood leopard
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Zeuzera pyrina (leopard moth or wood leopard moth); adult female, wings flapping. Larvik, Norway. July, 2011.
TitleAdult female
CaptionZeuzera pyrina (leopard moth or wood leopard moth); adult female, wings flapping. Larvik, Norway. July, 2011.
Copyright©Arnstein Rønning - CC BY 3.0
Zeuzera pyrina (leopard moth or wood leopard moth); adult female, wings flapping. Larvik, Norway. July, 2011.
Adult femaleZeuzera pyrina (leopard moth or wood leopard moth); adult female, wings flapping. Larvik, Norway. July, 2011.©Arnstein Rønning - CC BY 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Zeuzera pyrina (L.) 1761

Preferred Common Name

  • moth, wood leopard

Other Scientific Names

  • Cossus aesculi
  • Zeuzera aesculi (L.)
  • Zeuzera leuconotum

International Common Names

  • English: leopard moth; moth, leopard; wood leopard moth
  • Spanish: taladro amarillo de los troncos; taladro de los frutales
  • French: coquette; zeuzere; zeuzère; zeuzere du poirier

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: traeborer, plettet
  • Germany: Blausieb; Bohrer, Apfel-; Bohrer, Rosskastanien-
  • Israel: sas hanamer
  • Italy: perdilegno bianco; perdilegno giallo; rodilegno giallo; tarlo degli alberi di frutto; Zeuzera bianco
  • Netherlands: Houtrups, gele; Houtvlinder, gestippelde
  • Norway: greindreper
  • Sweden: traefjaeril, blaflaeckig
  • Turkey: sari agac kurdu

EPPO code

  • ZEUZLE (Zeuzera leuconotum)
  • ZEUZPY (Zeuzera pyrina)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Cossidae
  •                             Genus: Zeuzera
  •                                 Species: Zeuzera pyrina

Description

Top of page Eggs

Light yellow to bright salmon pink, approximately 1 mm long.

Larvae

Larvae are 50 to 60 mm long, bright yellow with numerous small black points on each segment. The head and the thoracic plates are shiny black.

Adults

Thorax is white or grey, hairy with six blueish-black spots; abdomen is relatively long. The wings are white, and are sprinkled with small metallic-blue spots; female wingspan 50-60 mm, male wingspan 35-40 mm.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Wood-boring caterpillars of Z. pyrina can affect trees and shrubs, most notably apple and ornamental Malus species. Other hosts include pears, plums, blackcurrant, ash, birch, cherry, cotoneaster, hawthorn, lilac, maple, oak, pear, rhododendron, Sorbus, willows, pomegranate and quince (Gatwick, 1992).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Acer (maples)AceraceaeOther
Acer japonicum (full-moon maple)AceraceaeMain
Aesculus (buckeye)HippocastanaceaeOther
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)FabaceaeMain
AzaleasOther
Castanea (chestnuts)FagaceaeMain
CeratoniaFabaceaeOther
CotoneasterRosaceaeOther
Cydonia (quince)RosaceaeOther
Diospyros virginiana (persimmon (common))EbenaceaeOther
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)RosaceaeOther
Fagus (beeches)FagaceaeOther
Ficus carica (common fig)MoraceaeOther
Fraxinus (ashes)OleaceaeMain
fruit treesMain
Ilex (Holly)AquifoliaceaeOther
Juglans (walnuts)JuglandaceaeOther
Juglans regia (walnut)JuglandaceaeMain
Lonicera spp.CaprifoliaceaeOther
Malus (ornamental) (ornamental apple)RosaceaeMain
Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeMain
Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)OleaceaeOther
Philadelphus coronarius (mock orange)HydrangeaceaeOther
Platanus (planes)PlatanaceaeOther
Populus (poplars)SalicaceaeMain
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeOther
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeOther
Pyrus communis (European pear)RosaceaeMain
Rhododendron (Azalea)EricaceaeMain
Ribes (currants)GrossulariaceaeOther
Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)RosaceaeOther
Salix (willows)SalicaceaeOther
Tamarix (tamarisk)TamaricaceaeOther
Tilia (limes)TiliaceaeMain
Ulmus (elms)UlmaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

Top of page Dead shoot tips appear and leaves on the apical portions of branches discolour prematurely. Infested branches break upon bending, due to the galleries made by caterpillars. Young caterpillars first enter shoots near the tip, and move onto older wood further down the branch when the shoot dies. Entry holes can be recognized by the frass, which resembles pellets of sawdust, and accumulates outside the entry hole for 6-9 months. Sufficient frass may fall on the ground to be a conspicuous symptom of infestation (Gatwick, 1992).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Stems / internal feeding
Stems / visible frass

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Adults do not feed and have short lifespans of 8-10 days. In the UK, they are on the wing from mid-June to early August. Females mate soon after emergence and under optimum conditions can lay several hundred eggs, usually deposited in clusters on trees, in cracks or crevices. Gatwick (1992) indicates that in the UK, only one egg is usually laid per tree, minimizing competition between caterpillars.

Embryonic development lasts for 7-23 days. Young caterpillars at first remain clustered in a silken cocoon from which they eventually disperse at dawn or at dusk. They then bore into the tips of branches and shoots, or into young shoots near an axillary bud, and then move downwards to attack younger parts of the tree. Feeding and tunnelling in older wood continue for 2-3 years. When fully grown, usually in late spring, caterpillars are about 50 mm long. After several migrations, the larvae attack the larger branches and the trunk, in which they form ascending galleries under the bark, then in the wood. Larval entry holes are marked by sap outflows, sawdust and frass (in the shape of small cylinders).

In France, the life cycle lasts 2 years, adults appearing from the beginning of June to August and pupation occurring from April to July. Young caterpillars attached to silk threads can be carried by the wind; this mode of dispersal is often predominant in young orchards and on trees situated close to hedges and thickets. In spring, larvae continue boring galleries only in the wood, often in the centre of the branch.

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bacillus thuringiensis Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis Pathogen Larvae
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen
Cheiracanthium mildei Predator
Copidosoma truncatellum Parasite Eggs
Diadegma terebrans Parasite
Dolichogenidea laevigata Parasite Larvae Israel; Syria apples; Ulmus
Dolichogenidea phaloniae Parasite Larvae Israel Ulmus
Dolichomitus messor Parasite
Hirsutella thompsonii Pathogen
Megaselia praecusta Parasite
Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogen
Nemorilla maculosa Parasite Larvae
Neoxorides nitens Parasite
Pristomerus vulnerator Parasite
Steinernema carpocapsae Parasite
Steinernema feltiae Parasite

Impact

Top of page Z. pyrina is one of the most important pests of apple and pear orchards in Mediterranean regions. It can also be a serious pest of olive. On young trees, one caterpillar is enough to kill a tree, whereas 3-year-old trees can become extremely vulnerable to wind damage due to damage of the central axis. Older trees can be severely damaged, particularly in dry years and on dry ground. In the UK, damage caused by Z. pyrina tends to be more severe following hot, dry summers (Gatwick, 1992). Trees weakened by leopard moth attacks are more susceptible to damage from other xylophagous pests, such as the goat moth (Cossus cossus), hornet clearwing moth (Synanthedon myopaeformis) and bark beetles. The woolly aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum) can use old larval galleries of Z. pyrina as a refuge, enabling them to evade chemical treatments.

References

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Carter DJ, 1984. Pest Lepidoptera of Europe with special reference to the British Isles. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Dr. W. Junk.

CDA, 1988. Plant Protection - Entomology. Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture for the year 1987. Nicosia, Cyprus: Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 37-40.

CIE, 1973. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, No. 24. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Clausen CP, 1931. Insects injurious to agriculture in Japan. Circular - United States Department of Agriculture, 168:1-115.

Evans JW, 1952. The Injurious Insects of the British Commonwealth. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Gatwick, 1992. Crop pests in the UK. Collected edition of MAFF leaflets. London, UK: Chapman & Hall, 126-127.

Talhouk AS, 1950a. A list of insects observed on economically important plants and plant products in Lebanon. Bull. Review of Applied Entomology (A), 40:136.

Talhouk AS, 1950b. A list of insects observed on plants of economic importance in Syria. Bull. Soc. Fouad. Ier. Ent., 38:305-309.

Therios I, 2008. Pests and diseases. In: Olives [ed. by Therios, I.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 335-352. http://www.cabi.org/CABeBooks/default.aspx?site=107&page=45&LoadModule=PDFHier&BookID=440

Distribution Maps

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