Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Webworm moths laying eggs

   Today, I found the first indication that the second generation of fall webworm is on its way. On the underside of a pecan leaflet, a female webworm moth was busy laying a large cluster of eggs (photo at right). As you can see, the adult moth is white and about 3/4 inch long. The female moth in the photo has almost completed laying a dime-sized egg mass (partially hidden under her wings). As she lays her eggs, she covers the eggs with scales scraped from her abdomen. This gives the egg mass a fuzzy white appearance.
    The eggs will start to hatch in about 7 days. The hatched larvae will immediately start feeding on pecan leaves and spinning their protective webbing. Based on the size of the first summer generation, we will start to notice a large number of new webworm colonies by the end of August.