Rhyacionia pinicolana

Author: (Doubleday, 1849)

Species Overview:

Adult: 16-23 mm wingspan; forewing ground colour silvery white suffused with grey, forming thick, irregular striae and with moderately well defined ferruginous-chestnut markings, covering most of wings surface. Apex of the pre-tornal marking of the forewing rounded. Hindwing grey.
Larva: apparently undescribed.
Pupa: head, thorax and wings brown, abdomen reddish brown, paler ventrally. Anal segment with four hooked setae dorsally and four of pairs hooked setae ventrally; abdominal segments 2-8 with athwart excavation dorsally, spines on abdominal segments very strong; frons with keel-shaped, rounded process, front of process with a small spine [frons pupa R. pinicolana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Rhyacionia pinicolana adults
Rhyacionia pinicolana male
External characters: 16-23 mm wingspan. Forewing with termen slightly convex; ground colour silvery white suffused with grey, forming thick, irregular, well-defined, anastomosing striae; markings ferruginous-chestnut, moderately well-defined; basal and sub-basal fasciae more or less confluent, forming a basal patch, sometimes obsolescent dorsally; median fascia broad and fractured on costa, inward-oblique, narrower dorsally; pre-tornal marking large, subtriangular, its apex rounded; subterminal fascia extending along termen and occupying most of distal area, irregular and usually fractured, bifurcate or trifurcate; cilia silvery white suffused with grey, with a black sub-basal line. Hindwing grey; cilia whitish, with a dark sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia R. pinicolana
Genitalia: Uncus rudimentary; gnathos not developed. Socii very small, attached to tegumen. Valva strong, with large basal excavation; cucullus elongate, without definite ventral lobe. Aedeagus without cornuti in vesica.


External characters: Similar to male.

female genitalia R. pinicolana
Genitalia: Sterigma folded laterally; ostium semi-elliptical; colliculum a long sclerotized tube, slightly bent. Corpus bursae with two small signa.


Minor variation is found in the ferruginous-chestnut markings and especially in the silvery striae.


Moths fly from mid July to the end of August (2-4 weeks later than Rhyacionia buoliana). Larvae feed in the shoots of Pinus sylvestris, causing a resinous exudation and distortion. Pupation takes place in a silken cocoon covered with frass in the larval habitation during June and July.

Host plants:

Pinus sylvestris, Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra var. nigra.


Larvae feed in the shoots of Pinus sylvestris, causing a resinous exudation and distortion, sometimes causing damage to the leading shoot like that of Rhyacionia buoliana. (Bradley et al., 1979). It does not produce the characteristic resin-tent.
Rhyacionia pinicolana is not an economically important species.


Northern and Central Europe to Eastern Russia and Korea.


Pheromone unknown.


Macrocentrus marginator Nees (Braconidae)
Orgilus obscurator Nees (Braconidae)
Ephialtes sagax Htg. (Ichneumonidae)
Itoplectis alternans Gravenhorst (Ichneumonidae)
Ischus (Habrocryptus) brachymus Gravenhorst (Ichneumonidae)
Ischus (Habrocryptus) porrectorius F. (Ichneumonidae)
Ichneumon fugitivus Gravenhorst (Ichneumonidae)
Exetastes cinctipes Retz. (Ichneumonidae)
Lampronota pimplator Zett. (Ichneumonidae)
Lissonota buolianae Htg. (Ichneumonidae)

1. Rhyacionia dativa Heinrich

This species occurs in China, Korea, Eastern Russia, Japan and Taiwan.
Wingspan 19-21 mm.

Male genitalia: Uncus strongly atrophied. tegumen rather broad, weak. Valva elongated with dense hairs apically; sacculus heavily sclerotized, thickened, fairly long, reaching to 2/3 of valva, protruding horizontally. Aedeagus long, arced, strongly sclerotized (see Byun and Park, 1994).

Female genitalia: Papillae analis small, slightly rectangular. Ostium bursae strongly sclerotized, fairly broad, thickened. Ductus bursae long, broad. Corpus bursae round with two large signa (see Byun and Park, 1994).

In China, 3 further species of Rhyacionia occur that resemble Rhyacionia pinicolana.
They are:

2. Rhyacionia insulariana Liu

Wingspan ca. 22 mm. Moths are silvery white with well-defined reddish-brown markings (South-West China, on Pinus yunnanensis).

Male genitalia: Valva narrow, ventral margin only slightly notched (see Liu and Bai, 1981).

Female genitalia: Ostium wide; colliculum wide, long (see Liu and Bai, 1981).

Liu and Bai, 1981, give a list of hosts for the above two species and for Rhyacionia duplana and Rhyacionia pinicolana in China (translation not available).

3. Rhyacionia dolichotubula Liu & Bai
(described from female)

Wingspan ca. 26 mm. Moths are silvery white with well-defined reddish-brown markings (Yunnan).

Female genitalia: Colliculum about twice as long as in R. pinicolana (see Liu and Bai, 1984).

4. Rhyacionia leptotubula Liu & Bai

Wingspan ca. 17 mm. Moths are white with well-defined reddish-brown markings (Yunnan).

Male genitalia: Sacculus protrudes beyond middle of valva (see Liu and Bai, 1984).

Female genitalia: Colliculum slender, longer than in R. pinicolana (see Liu and Bai, 1984).