October 26th, 2009 by BugGuy
The artichoke plume moth is a moth (believe it or not) belonging to the superfamily Pterophoridae (plume moth). It is believed there are currently 159 species of plume moths in North America.
Adult artichoke plume moths can range in size from 3/4” to 1 1/4” and are typically light shades of brown…as seen in the picture to the left. Plume moths are recognizable because of their odd shaped wings and posture; the moths can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Artichoke plume moths can cause serious damage to artichoke plants. The larvae will eat any part of the plant but the costly damage occurs when they eat the flowering buds. Damage to the artichokes happens primarily when the plant is grown as a perennial (central coast of California); most artichokes grown in southern California are grown as annuals. Artichoke growers can reduce the plume moth infestations by 95% if certain steps are taken such as including plant materials in the soil and shredding the tops.
Missed our first two posts about weird insects? Here they are:
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