Damage based identification key for endophagous herbivores on Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

Author: Patrick Häfliger ©
CABI Europe - Switzerland, Rue des Grillons 1, CH-2800 Delémont
    The White-Mantled Wainscot
Archanara neurica (Hübner) (Lep.: Noctuidae)

Biology: Larvae hatch between mid-April and early May. After feeding through three shoots and only four moltings, larvae pupate end of May/early June in undamaged internodes. Emergence of adults occurs at the end of June/early July. Eggs are laid under leaf sheaths of the host plant.

Description: Larvae up to 3 cm long, larval body in the beginning brownish-grey, later greyish, with several black spots on each segment, tracheal trunks shining through skin as brown lateral lines (picture 43), head and parts of the neck shield and anal plate dark-brown/black; pupae 13-20 mm, orange, head downwards; adults light-brown winged, hind wings without black spot on the underside, neck with line of white scales (picture 45)
Feeding pattern/damage: Freshly hatched larvae enter shoots below the growing point, severe the tip from the base within 24 hours, and afterwards feed above the growing point. Such shoots look the same as the ones infested by the twin-spotted wainscot: usually completely dead, 0.4-0.5 mm large entrance hole, severed shoot tip, frass above the growing point, and 1-1.2 mm large exit hole. In contrast to other moths feeding on common reed, frass of larvae of the white-mantled wainscot is found most of the time mainly above the growing point. Pupation occurs in undamaged internodes with the head downwards (picture 73) (minimal shoot diameter 4.5 mm).
Damage caused by the white-mantled wainscot is very similar to that of the other three stem-mining wainscots.

Distribution: Europe

References: Bretherton et al., 1983; Haefliger et al., 2006

Pic. 43: Mature larva
of Archanara neurica

Pic. 45: Adult of
Archanara neurica

Pic. 73: Pupa of
Archanara neurica

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