Lobesia botrana

Author: (Denis and Schiffermüller, 1775)

Vine moth
Grapeberry moth
European grape moth
European vine moth

Species Overview:

Adult: 10-17 mm wingspan; forewing ground colour ochreous-white, suffused with plumbeous, forming a subquadrate patch medio-dorsally and bordering the outer edge of the median fascia; costa obscurely strigulated with black; fasciate markings moderately well defined but diffuse, ochreous suffused with light olive-brown, with an admixture of black. In males the hindwing is white, infuscate distally, in females it is entirely dark greyish fuscous.
Egg: Lenticular, at first yellowish but later becoming opalescent grey; deposited on the fruit and stems of the food plant.
Larva: Head yellowish brown; prothoracic plate brown, sometimes darker on posterior margin; abdomen varying from yellowish green to whitish brown or brown, integument finely shagreened; thoracic legs brown; anal plate light brownish yellow; anal comb present, with 6-8 prongs [Lobesia botrana larva ].
Pupa: Dark brown; cremaster fan-shaped, its caudal margin weakly emarginate, with four dorsal and four dorso-lateral bristles. Spun up in a white silken cocoon in the larval habitation or in bark [Lobesia botrana pupa ].

Taxonomic Description:


Lobesia botrana adult
Lobesia botrana male 1
Lobesia botrana male 2
External characters: 10-17 mm wingspan. Forewing ground colour cream-white, weakly overlaid with ochreous and heavily suffused with plumbeous between sub-basal and median fasciae medio-dorsally and in costal and dorsal aereas beyond median fascia, costa obscurely strigulated with black; fasciate markings moderately well defined but diffuse, ochreous suffused with light olive-brown, with an admixture of black; basal and sub-basal fasciae usually coalescent and forming a basal patch, its outer edge shallowly convex and irregular; median fascia narrow on costa and dorsum, produced distad at middle which sometimes forms a patch above the medial projection; pre-tornal marking obsolete or indicated by a small dark brown spot; tornal marking moderately well developed and usually distinct, subtriangular; subterminal fascia arising from middle of termen and forming a large quadrate patch in upper part of distal area; cilia cream-white, apices suffused with ochreous, with a grey sub-basal line. Hindwing white, weakly scaled and translucent basally, infuscate distally, most strongly in apical aerea; cilia white, apices suffused with grey, with a dark grey sub-basal line. Hind tibiae with brush of piliform scales (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia L. botrana
Genitalia: Uncus absent. Valva elongated, cucullus slender. Sacculus with group of spinescent setae; ventral margin of valva with a very small notch before cucullus; socii with a few fine and short bristles.


External characters: Forewing colouration and markings similar to those of male, but hindwing entirely dark greyish fuscous.

female genitalia L. botrana
Genitalia: Sterigma characteristic: tubular, expanding anteriorly where surface is irregular, fused with subgenital sternite by means of a membranous sac. Antrum not expressed. Corpus bursae with large plate-shaped signum that is folded longitudinally.


Minor variation occurs in the strength of the black admixture and the clarity of the fasciate markings of the forewings.


There are two generations yearly in the northern limit of its distribution range and three generations in the south. Exceptionally, in hot years, there is a partial fourth generation but the larvae often die before they are fully developed. Moths are mainly active during the evenings. Females deposit their eggs on the fruit and stems of the food plant. They hatch in 5-11 days. Larvae of the early generation feed in spun flowers or developing fruit, those of the summer generations on the fruit. Overwintering takes place in the pupal stage (Roehrich and Boller, 1991: Bradley et al., 1979; Bovey, 1966).

Host plants:

Vitis vinifera. Also on Clematis vitalba, Cornus mas, Cornus sanguina, Swida, Lonicera xylosteum, Viburnum lantana, Ligustrum vulgare, Ribes grossularia, Ribes rubrum, Hedera helix and Berberis, Daphne gnidium, Ziziphus vulgaris, Rhus glabra, Rosmarinus officinalis, Arbustus unedo. In Greece, larvae have been found feeding on the inflorescences of olive (Olea), and in Kenya, the larvae also feed on the berries of the coffee plant (Coffea).


Damage depends strongly on the developmental stage of the grapevine. Before and during flowering the larvae at first penetrate single flower buds and later on start to tie together several flower buds, building glomerules in which they stay and continue their feeding activities. In this stage the tolerance level for grape berry moth infestation is relatively high and depends on the ability of the grape variety to compensate the damage. For example, the cultivar 'Cabernet Sauvignon' can tolerate up to two larvae per flower cluster without reduction of yield. Experiments simulating larval damages by artificial removal of increasing numbers of flower buds showed that cultivars with smaller flower clusters, such as 'Riesling x Sylvaner' or 'Pinot noir', can tolerate only one larva per cluster. Consequently, the tolerance level implemented in various countries varies between 15 and 100 larvae per 100 flower clusters.
The larvae of the summer generations infest the grape berries. The most serious damage is not necessarily caused by the actual destruction of a few berries by the larva but by the fungus Botrytis cinerea Persoon, which develops readily on the injuries caused by the larvae. The economic thresholds during this period depend on various aspects, such as whether the grapes are produced as table fruit or for vinification, the level of precipitation (higher or lower risk of Botrytis infestation) and the quality and price level of the crop. In the different European countries and regions it varies between 2 and 20 larvae per 100 grapes (Roehrich and Boller, 1991).

Larvae of the first generation also feed on the inflorescences of olive in the Mediterranean region (Geest van der et al., 1991).


From Central and Southern Europe to Northern Africa, the Middle-East and Central Asia; Thailand, Japan, Eastern Africa.


E 7Z 9-12Ac : 1 *
Z 7Z 9-12Ac : 0.02
E 7E 9-12Ac : 0.01
Z 7E 9-12Ac : 0.01
E 7Z 9-12OH : 0.25 *
Z 9-12Ac : 0.08 *
E 9-12Ac : 0.005
11-12Ac : 0.1
10Ac : 0.03
12Ac : 0.03
14Ac : 0.005
18Ac : 0.01
18OH : 0.2
20OH : 0.15
20Ac : 0.1

Components marked with * are involved in attraction (Arn et al., 1988).


E 7Z 9-12Ac
(Roelofs et al., 1973)


E 7E 9-12Ac : 10
E 7Z 9-12OH : 0.5
Z 9-12Ac : 0.1
E 9-12Ac : 0.1
11-12Ac : 1
(El-Sayed et al., 1999)


Trichogramma semblidis (Auriv) (Trichogrammatidae)
Pentarthon semblidis (Chalcidae)
Pentarthon minutum (Chalcidae)
Dibrachys affinis (Chalcidae)
Dibrachys boucheanus (Chalcidae)
Elachistus affinis (Chalcidae)
Elasmus flabellatus (Chalcidae)
Chalcis pusilla (Chalcidae)
Eupelmus urozonus (Chalcidae)
Monodontomerus obsoletus (Chalcidae)
Parasierola gallicola (Proctotrupidae)
Habrobracon sp. (Braconidae)
Ascogasster rufidens (Braconidae)
Meteorus sp. (Braconidae)
Pimpla examinator (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla turionellae (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla alternans (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla detrita (Ichneumonidae)
Dicoelotus resplendens (Ichneumonidae)
Thyrella collaris (Ichneumonidae)
Atrometus geniculatus (Ichneumonidae)
Angitia tibialis (Ichneumonidae)
Triclistus pallidipes (Ichneumonidae)
Hemiteles areator (Ichneumonidae)
Pseudoperichaeta nigrolineata (Walker) (Tachinidae)
Phytomyptera nitidiventris (Tachinidae)