Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Dioryctria abietivorella - Fir Coneworm - Hodges#5841

Fir Coneworm Moth - top - Dioryctria abietivorella Fir Coneworm Moth - side - Dioryctria abietivorella moth - Dioryctria abietivorella Moth - Dioryctria abietivorella Dioryctria abietivorella  - Dioryctria abietivorella Fir Coneworm Moth - Dioryctria abietivorella genitalia - Dioryctria abietivorella - female Fir Coneworm - Dioryctria abietivorella - female
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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 Pyralidae (Pyralid Moths)
Subfamily Phycitinae
Tribe Phycitini
Genus Dioryctria
Species abietivorella (Fir Coneworm - Hodges#5841)
Hodges Number
5841
Other Common Names
Fir Coneworm Moth (adult)
Evergreen Coneworm
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Dioryctria elegantella and Dioryctria reniculella
This species is sometimes confused with Dioryctria abietella, a European moth whose name does not appear on North American lists at All-Leps or nearctica.com, and has no synonyms listed at Fauna Europaea.
Explanation of Names
ABIETIVORELLA: the "abie" part refers to the fir genus Abies, one of the principal larval foodplants
Size
wingspan about 25 mm, based on photo by Jim Vargo at MPG
Identification
Adult: forewing blackish-gray with black zigzag AM and PM lines, bordered by white; irregular white discal spot in median area; black blotch present inside AM line at costa; hindwing light brownish-gray with pale fringe

Larva: body light reddish-gray with dark dots and dark brown head
Range
coast to coast in southern Canada, south in the west to California, south in the east to North Carolina (absent from the US great plains)
Habitat
coniferous forests throughout range; adults are nocturnal and attracted to light
Season
adults fly from May to August
larvae present from June to September
Food
larvae usually feed internally on cones, but may also feed on needles, twigs, and under bark of various conifers: mainly Balsam Fir in the east, and Douglas-fir in the west, plus various species of pine and spruce
Life Cycle
adult lays eggs under scales of new cones or under bark; larva feeds from June to September, then drops to the ground and weaves a silk cocoon where it overwinters in the last larval instar stage or as a prepupa; pupation occurs the following spring; one generation per year
Remarks
larvae are economically important pests; they do not cause serious damage to the tree but in severe infestations can destroy an entire seed and cone crop, and can be particularly damaging in seed orchards
See Also
Spruce Coneworm (Dioryctria reniculelloides) forewing has dull yellowish shading inside AM line at inner margin, and lacks black blotch inside AM line at costa
Dioryctria taedae forewing has more black in median and basal areas
in the west (mostly southern British Columbia and Alberta), Douglas-fir Coneworm (D. pseudotsugella) forewing is very similar but has minor differences in transverse band dentation and coloration
(compare images of these and related species by Jim Vargo at MPG)
Internet References
pinned adult and live larva images plus common name reference [Fir Coneworm], description, biology, foodplants, and photos of damage (U. of British Columbia)
pinned adult image and photos of related species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
live images of all life stages plus common name reference [Fir Coneworm], foodplants, habitat, biology, seasonality (Canadian Forest Service)
live adult image and common name reference [Fir Coneworm] (pherobase.com)
species account including common name reference [Fir Coneworm], habitat, flight season, description, similar species, larval foodplants, biology, distribution (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
pinned adult image by John Glaser (Larry Line, Maryland)
synonyms and references plus common names of European species D. abietella (Markku Savela, FUNET)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)