Peach Borer

Scientific Name: Scolytus rugulosus

 

Description: Black body and wings with an orange band on its abdomen. Quite gorgeous. The adults are clear-winged, day-flying moths which, to the casual observer, are often mistaken for wasps. The sexes are strikingly distinct. The female is steel blue with an orange band on the fourth and sometimes also fifth abdominal segment. The forewings are opaque, covered with blue scales; the hind wings are transparent. The wingspread is 35-38 mm (1 3/8 - 1 1/2 in). The male is smaller, with a wingspread of 27-30 mm (1 1/16 - 1 1/8 in). Both pairs of the males' wings are clear except for the margins and a line across the forewing. The blue abdomen is marked with three or four narrow yellow stripes. Peachtree borer eggs are oval, reddish-brown, and are deposited singly or in small groups on the trunk, lower scaffold limbs, or on debris or soil near the base of the tree. Peachtree borer larvae are white or cream-colored with a yellowish-brown to dark brown head. When half to full grown, the prothoracic and anal shields become yellow to dark brown in color. Like other lepidopterous larvae, they have three pairs of jointed thoracic legs plus prolegs on the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and last abdominal segment. There are seven larval instars, varying in size from 1.6 mm to 38 mm (1/16 in - 1 1/2 in).

The peach tree borer is the most destructive insect pest of peach, cherry, plum and other stone fruits in New Jersey. The immature (larva) stage of the peach tree borer damages trees. Peach tree borer can be difficult to control because the larval stage is not easily accessible with insecticides after it moves under the bark.

 


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