Tortrix s.l.sp. “chrysanthemoides”
Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera
What do boneseed leafroller moths look like?
The adult moths are about 9.5 mm long, and a mottled earthbrown colour, with a darker, narrow, zigzagging band across the wings. At rest, the wings form a bell shape. Adult moths are nocturnal.
What about their life cycle?
The adult moths lay pale yellow eggs in irregularly shaped batches on both upper and lower surfaces of leaves. After a few days the eggs turn orange and hatch into olive-green caterpillars. The young caterpillars move to shoot tips to feed and construct silken thread shelters by webbing several leaves together, earning them their leaf roller name. Older caterpillars are dark green to black in colour, with two parallel rows of white spots along the length of the body.
The larvae feed on leaves and stems and usually pupate in a silken cocoon within the shelter. They emerge as adults in about 10 days and live about two weeks. In its native South Africa, boneseed leafroller has three generations per year.
Where are they established?
Colonies are established at Hihi (Berghan Pt), Ahipara, and Mangawhai.
When and how are they best harvested for redistribution?
This insect has only recently been released and, while it has successfully survived its first winter at several sites, it will only be available for distribution to other areas when its numbers have increased.