Pammene argyrana

Author: (Hübner, 1799)

Species Overview:

Adult: 10-13 mm wingspan; forewing with broad, subquadrate medio-dorsal blotch; in males the hindwing has a heavy, sharply demarcated blackish brown border.
Egg: 0.75 x 0.6 mm; after two days a characteristic reddish pigmentation in the shape of a horse-shoe appears. Eggs are deposited on, or in close proximity to young fruit.
Larva: head brown; prothoracic plate whitish grey, posterior and lateral margins blackish; abdomen translucent pinkish white, segments wrinkled dorsally and obscurely banded with whitish spinules; pinacula prominent, reddish brown; anal plate dark brown anteriorly, without black spots, whitish posteriorly.
Pupa: 5.5-7.1 x 1.5-1.8 mm, brownish-ochreous; in a silken cocoon in the larval habitation, inside an old gall or under bark or moss.

Taxonomic Description:


Pammene argyrana adult
Pammene argyrana adults 1
Pammene argyrana adults 2
External characters: 10-13 mm wingspan. Forewing ground colour white or cream-white, suffused with fuscous mixed with pale ochreous, irregularly striated with black, except interspaces between compact black costal strigulae and a conspicuous subquadrate medio-dorsal blotch which is more or less strigulated with blackish, costad of which is a plumbeous suffusion; markings obsolescent, reduced to irregular blackish brown dots and strigulae; outer edge of sub-basal fascia acutely angulated and produced medially; median fascia definable as a narrow, oblique dash on costa, obsolescent below to dorsum, its outer edge indicated by a thick leaden metallic stria which forms inner side of ocellus dorsally; ocellus usually weakly suffused with pale ochreous, containing indistinct black dashes or scales and edged laterally by leaden metallic striae; a black subapical patch edged above by an oblique leaden metallic stria and with a small whitish spot distad on termen; cilia concolorous with wing basally, otherwise cream-white, suffused with grey on upper part of termen, with a black sub-basal line. Hindwing greyish brown, white basally, with a heavy, sharply demarcated blackish brown border around costal, terminal and inner margins; cilia cream-white, with a dark sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia P. argyrana
Genitalia: Valva long, ventral margin with slight notch; cucullus elongate. Sacculus with tuft of up to four acicular setae. Aedeagus with well-defined outgrowth or projection near apex.


External characters: Similar to male but with central and basal areas of hindwing infuscate; cilia greyish white, with a fuscous sub-basal line.

female genitalia P. argyrana
Genitalia: Antrum and cingulum short. Postvaginal sclerite nearly as long as 7th sternite; the latter with irregular lateral pits occupying posterior angles. Corpus bursae with two signa.


Pammene argyrana is an univoltine species. Moths are on wing during April and May. Eggs are deposited on, or in close proximity to young fruit, they hatch after two weeks. The larva lives as an inquiline in young hymenopterous galls on Quercus, feeding internally and apparently preferring the spongy galls of Biorhiza. When fully fed in late summer, the larva usually leaves the gall and spins up elsewhere, overwintering and pupating in early spring (Bradley et al., 1979; Bovey, 1966).

Host plants:

Pammene argyrana (Hübner) is usually associated with Quercus robur, living in galls formed by gall-wasps (Biorhiza , Andricus) , but can also be found on apple (Malus), feeding in the fruits.


This species has been recorded as an occasional pest of apple in the Netherlands. Larvae bore a tunnel in the fruit. A typical tunnel runs from the surface of the apple, around the core, towards the stalk. Damage may cause an early fall from the tree (Jong and Frankenhuyzen, 1976).


Western Europe to Western Russia.


Pheromone unknown.


Z 8 -12Ac
(Chambon and d'Aguilar, 1974)


Z 8 -12Ac : 72
E 8 -12Ac : 28
(Beauvais et al., 1977)