Lymantria lapidicola

Lymantria lapidicola (Herrich-Schäffer)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Lepidoptera, Erebidae.

Common name: Almond tussock moth.

Morphology: Adult body red-brown, about 20 m long, covered by grey hairs, forewings grey-brown, with 2-3 darker transverse stripes, hindwings pale. Larva up to 30 mm long, dark-brown, covered by long brown hairs, head red.

Life history: Females lay about 250 eggs each in clusters on the ground, near rosaceous host trees, like almond, apricot, peach and others. The emerging larvae climb on the trees in the evening and feed till dawn, when they descend to hide at the foot of the trees. They live and move in aggregations; at maturity they pupate in the soil. The larvae overwinter under loose tree bark or any site that affords protection near the tree. The adults may live for several weeks. The pest raises 3-4 annual generations.

Economic importance: A larval aggregation can defoliate trees and then move on to others, the danger is especially acute for young trees during the early summer. Buds and growing points may also be damaged.


Monitoring: The larval aggregations can easily be seen in the upper soil strata.

Horticultural control: Placing sticky bands on the trunks in order to trap the larvae as they move up and down the trees.

Chemical control: Dusting the tree trunks and the nearby soil with a suitable organophosphate, like azinphos-methyl, whose participles are caught in the larvae’s long hairs.


Herzog, Z. and Gotlieb, Y. 2002. Recommendations for the Control of Pests and Diseases in Pome and Prune Orchards. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Extension Service (in Hebrew), pp. 163.

Talhouk, A.S. 1977. Contributions to the knowledge of almond pests in East Mediterranean countries: VII. The defoliators. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie 84: 242–250