caterpillarCaterpillars of several butterfly and moth species cause damage to a variety of crops. The most important species occurring in glasshouses are the green looper (Chrysodeixis eripsoma), the tomato fruitworm (Heliothus zea), the tropical armyworm (Spodoptera litura), tomato stem borer (Symmetrischema tangolia), light brown apple moth / leaf roller (Epiphyas postuitana)

 

Biology

The life-cycle of butterflies consists of four stages, namely egg, caterpillar, pupa and butterfly. The eggs are often laid in groups on the leaf or glasshouse structures. The larva of a butterfly is a caterpillar and has a well-developed head and strong jaws. Caterpillars eat almost continuously, except when they are moulting. The species listed do not generally fly during the daytime, unless they are disturbed.
Symptoms

Small caterpillars mainly feed on the undersides of the leaves. The upper layer (epidermis) remains undamaged. If caterpillars mature, they disperse on the plant. Initially they cause small, later also bigger holes in the leaves.

The large amount of excrements of the caterpillars soils the crop.

Tomato stem borer will bore into the stem of tomatoes or eggplants. Tomato fruitworm and tropical armyworm may strip the skin from telegraph cucumbers.
Solutions

DESIRE - pheromone traps (Contact for information)

- Tomato stem borer
- Light brown apple moth
- Tropical armyworm
- Green Looper
- Tomato fruit worm