Zeuzera pyrina (moth, wood leopard)
Don't need the entire report?
Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.Generate report
PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
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
- ZEUZLE (Zeuzera leuconotum)
- ZEUZPY (Zeuzera pyrina)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Cossidae
- Genus: Zeuzera
- Species: Zeuzera pyrina
DescriptionTop of page Eggs
Light yellow to bright salmon pink, approximately 1 mm long.
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.
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 TableTop of page
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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Japan||Present||Clausen, 1931; CIE, 1973|
|Korea, DPR||Present||CIE, 1973|
|Lebanon||Present||Talhouk, 1950a; CIE, 1973|
|Syria||Present||Talhouk, 1950b; CIE, 1973|
|-South Dakota||Present||CIE, 1973|
|Cyprus||Present||CIE, 1973; CDA, 1988|
|Czechoslovakia (former)||Present||CIE, 1973|
|Former USSR||Present||CIE, 1973|
|Russian Federation||Present||CIE, 1973|
|UK||Restricted distribution||CIE, 1973; Gatwick, 1992|
|Yugoslavia (former)||Present||CIE, 1973|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop 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 AffectedTop of page
|Acer japonicum (full-moon maple)||Aceraceae||Main|
|Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Diospyros virginiana (persimmon (common))||Ebenaceae||Other|
|Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)||Rosaceae||Other|
|Ficus carica (common fig)||Moraceae||Other|
|Juglans regia (walnut)||Juglandaceae||Main|
|Malus (ornamental) (ornamental apple)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Malus domestica (apple)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)||Oleaceae||Other|
|Philadelphus coronarius (mock orange)||Hydrangeaceae||Other|
|Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)||Rosaceae||Other|
|Punica granatum (pomegranate)||Punicaceae||Other|
|Pyrus communis (European pear)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)||Rosaceae||Other|
Growth StagesTop of page Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop 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/SignsTop of page
|Stems / internal feeding|
|Stems / visible frass|
Biology and EcologyTop 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 enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae||Pathogen||Larvae|
|Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis||Pathogen||Larvae|
|Dolichogenidea laevigata||Parasite||Larvae||Israel; Syria||apples; Ulmus|
ImpactTop 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.
ReferencesTop of page
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.
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.
Distribution MapsTop of page
Unsupported Web Browser:
One or more of the features that are needed to show you the maps functionality are not available in the web browser that you are using.
Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser.
More information about modern web browsers can be found at http://browsehappy.com/