Paropta paradoxa

Paropta paradoxa (Herrich-Schäffer)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Lepidoptera, Cossidae.

Common name: Vine carpenter moth, solitary carpenter moth.

Geographical distribution: The Middle East, Rhodes, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Host plants: Grapevines, fig, mandarin.

Morphology: The body of the adult is about 30 mm long, with grey wings. The larva is up to 3 cm in length, with a dark head and golden segments.

Life cycle: The pest has one or two annual generations, the adult populations peaking in mid-summer and in autumn. In spring females may lay up to 275 eggs, placing them under loose tree bark, where the young larvae feed. They penetrate the wood through dried stubs of pruned canes and excavate tunnels. During summer the larvae leave the galleries and crawl along the vines. The moth overwinters in the tunnels as active or diapausing prepupal larvae, and pupates, to emerge during next spring, or even later. Adults are active between late April and late September.

Economic importance: The boring of the pest and the resulting tunnels weaken the grape vine, reduce its yield, and may even kill the plant. Indirect damage is caused by the penetration of microorganisms through the wounds and tunnels.


Horticultural control: Winter and summer pruning of infested mandarin branches, along with the mechanical removal of larvae (“worming”), during 3 years, resulted in 60-70% reductions of pest infestations in Egypt.

Chemical control: Various formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis, repeated for several years, provided up to 80% control. Treatments with a commercial product of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv.) Vuill. resulted in 40-50% pest reductions.

Biological control: Larvae and pupae may be preyed on by various birds, like woodpeckers, but their controling effect is not known.


Abdel Moaty, R.M., Hashim, S.M. and Tadros, A.W. 2013. Citrus tree borers. 11. Effect of pruning and worming treatments on the reduction of Paropta paradoxa (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) infesting mandarin orchards in Egypt. Minufiya Journal of Agricultural Research 38: 475-480.

Ovadia, S. and Mendel, Z. 2012. Notes on biology, damage and control of the vine carpenter moth Paropta paradoxus (Lepidoptera; Cossidae) in vineyards in Israel. Alon Hanotea 66(6): 36-38 (in Hebrew with an English abstract).

Plaut, H.N. 1973. On the biology of Paropta paradoxus (H-S.) (Lep., Cossidae) on grapevine in Israel. Bulletin of Entomological Research 63: 237-245.

Shehata, W.A., Tadros, A.W. and Saafan, M.H. 2001. Certain pests of edible fig trees. 2. Monitoring and microbial control treatments (with bacteria and fungus) of Paropta paradoxa in fig orchards at the northwestern coast of Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Agricultural Research 79: 511-520.