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Species Chrysoteuchia topiarius - Cranberry Girdler - Hodges#5391

Veneer? - Chrysoteuchia topiarius Chrysoteuchia topiarius  - Chrysoteuchia topiarius Chrysoteuchia topiaria - Chrysoteuchia topiarius Crambidae: Chrysoteuchia topiarius - Chrysoteuchia topiarius Cranberry Girdler - Chrysoteuchia topiarius Chrysoteuchia topiarius Distinctive Micromoth? - Chrysoteuchia topiarius Chrysoteuchia topiarius
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Crambinae (Crambine Snout Moths)
Tribe Crambini (Grass-Veneers)
Genus Chrysoteuchia
Species topiarius (Cranberry Girdler - Hodges#5391)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Subterranean Sod Webworm (larva)
Topiary Grass-veneer Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Chrysoteuchia topiarius (Zeller, 1866)
Chrysoteuchia topiaria Zeller, 1866
Explanation of Names
TOPIARIA: from the Latin "topiarius" (an ornamental gardener); topiary is the art of trimming and training shrubs or trees in unnatural ornamental shapes - probably refers to the larva's feeding effect on host plants
wingspan 17-20 mm
larvae length to 13 mm
Adult: head with prominent "snout"; forewing varies from dark reddish-brown to light yellowish-brown with distinct dark veins; subterminal line prominent, angled, silvery-gray or whitish; terminal line composed of thin black line near apex, and three black dots near anal angle; fringe shiny gold or bronze; hindwing gray with thin dark terminal line

Larva: head red or orange; thorax yellowish; abdomen white to dark brown or blackish with one or two long lateral hairs per segment
all of United States and southern Canada
grasslands, fields, cranberry plantations, tree nurseries; adults are active day and night, and are attracted to light
adults fly from June to August
larvae from July to September
young larvae feed on soft tissues such as crowns, leaves, and roots of grasses; mature larvae feed on bark of cranberry and conifer seedling roots and crowns; also feed on blueberry and many species of herbaceous plants
Life Cycle
one or two generations per year; eggs are laid on host plant and hatch in 4-14 days, depending on temperature; overwinters either as a mature larva or a pupa wrapped in silk cocoon covered with soil

Adult with eggs
A pest of cranberry growers, sod growers, and tree nursery owners.

Adult females tend to drop to the ground when disturbed, whereas males tend to fly away.
See Also
Agriphila ruricolella and A. vulgivagella are similar but lack a subterminal line on the forewing, and the terminal line is composed completely of separate black dots (i.e. it has no partial continous black line near the apex)
Print References
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. plate 24, figs. 23, 24; p. 182. (1)
Internet References
pinned adult image by C.D. Bird, plus synonym, habitat, description, flight season, distribution, food plants (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
images of damage to Douglas-fir seedlings (Scott Tunnock, USDA Forest Service,
flight behavior during pursuit (Sheila Fitzpatrick et al, Agriculture Canada)
common name reference; PDF doc [Subterranean Sod Webworm; larva] (Utah State U.)