European pine shoot moth
This moth could harm our forestry industry. It nestles in growing pine shoots, deforming the tree's growth.
About the European pine shoot moth
This moth is a native of Europe. It has spread to other countries and is now a major pest in Chile.
The females can fly several kilometres. Large areas can soon become infested with offspring.
Global distribution of the moth
Why this is a problem for New Zealand
The caterpillars make holes and galleries (tunnels) in the growing shoots of pine trees. This damage can cause the tree to grow crookedly and can kill the growing shoot.
While they may not die, trees infested with this moth will be shorter and narrower than unaffected trees.
How could it get here?
The only likely way for the moth to get here is in part of a pine tree, such as a stem, branch, or shoot.
How to identify the European pine shoot moth
The moth and its caterpillar only feed on pine trees. The caterpillars:
- are 12mm to 15mm long
- are coloured light yellowish-brown to brown
- have a black head.
- have front wings that are orange-red, with silver, irregular stripes
- are about 20mm long.
Right: Male moth on a pine needle. Image: CC 2.0 by Patrick Clement
If you think you've found the European pine shoot moth or caterpillar
- photograph it
- catch it
- call 0800 80 99 66
Note: This information is a summary of this pest's global distribution and potential impacts on New Zealand.