Phthorimaea operculella

Phthorimaea operculella

The potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella) is a major pest on potatoes in New Zealand and South Africa. It has a world-wide distribution.

The body length is about 10mm and the wingspan is about 12mm. The larva is called potato tuberworm.

In South Africa, the spider Selenops radiatus has proved to be an effective controlling agent for this species.

The potato tuberworm is also known as the tobacco splitworm and is becoming a pest in North Carolina. It seems to be interchangeable in the Solanaceae family. In tobacco, the larvae are leaf miners and can cause severe damage to leaves, making them weigh less.

An older synonym is Bryotropha solanella, where solanella stands for its host, the potato (Solanum tuberosum).

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