Fruit and vegetables

Apple tree cemiostoma

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The apple cemiostoma or leucoptera malifoliella (= scitella) costs

The apple cemiostoma is a small parasitic insect that attacks different types of fruit trees including the apple tree, pear tree, plum tree and loquat. It is a micro-moth that, in the larval state, digs spiral tunnels in the leaves of the plant to feed on the leaf tissue: this determines the necrosis of different areas of the surface of the leaf causing its detachment from the plant. This phenomenon is detectable by the presence of the so-called "mines", ie the rounded spots left by the passage of the larvae. The foliar loss that occurs in this way hinders the chlorophyll photosynthesis of the plant, seriously undermining its health. When the fruits are already formed, the chrysalis nest in the "glass" of the fruit itself: this does not damage the quality of the fruit, but has an impact on the marketing process as it hinders its export to foreign countries.


Classification and description

The Cemiostoma del melo belongs to the Lepidoptera family and is classified under the species L. malifoliella (= scitella) costa. In the adult state, this insect appears as a small butterfly with a wingspan of about 8 millimeters: the body has a yellow-black color, while the wings are silvery-gray. The dirty white eggs are deposited on the lower part of the leaves where, from the moment of hatching, the larvae will feed on the mesophile digging concentric tunnels and depositing their excrements there. The annual biological cycle counts from two to five generations, which follow one another from May to the end of the summer. In some cases, the pupa can nest on the fruits instead of on the leaves of the plant.

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