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Pea moth larva damage inside a pea pod

Pea moth larva damage inside a pea pod

C010/6996

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pods of a garden pea, Pisum sativum, showing damage due to 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 pods from peas grown in the UK. The pea in the centre of the picture is damaged by a pea moth larva. 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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