Pea moth larva in a pea pod

Pea moth larva in a pea pod

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Maturing pods of a garden pea, Pisum sativum, showing undamaged peas in the presence of a larva of the pea moth, Cydia nigricana ( Laspeyresia nigricana ). The pea moth is an inconspicuous small moth that emerges from a pupa within the soil in early Summer ( June in N. Europe ). It lays eggs on the surface of pea plants; the larvae eat into the developing pods and feed on the peas within. The larva leaves the pod as it matures and dries, descends to the ground and overwinters as a pupa. The picture, taken in early July, shows maturing pods from peas grown in the UK. The moth has one generation per year, so the damage it causes can be avoided by timing the sowing of the crop so that a newly hatched larva either encounters no pods ( from late sowing ) or pods that are already nearly mature ( from an early sowing ).

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Keywords: cydia nigricana, insect pest, larva, laspeyresia nigricana, pea, pea moth, pea pod, pisum sativum

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