Plant diseases

Anarsia (Anarsia lineatella)

The Anarsia lineatella is an insect that acts as a kind of stone fruit punch. It was described in 1839 by Zeller and today it is known for its peculiarity of attacking the aforementioned fruits of the Rosaceae family. For many years, researchers studying the Gelechiidae family believe that Anarsia includes a hidden variety.


The Anarsia lineatella is an insect of the lepidopteran group that attacks stone fruit trees; especially the peach tree. It is found in all the growing areas of this type of fruit.

The adults are medium-sized butterflies, with greyish forewings that present linear patterns that go from light to dark; while its hind wings are a bit lighter. Its wings, both rear and front, are gently edged. Their larvae are divided into zones and have species of reddish and yellow bandages. The damage that this insect produces is determined by the larval stage that affects the various areas of the plants; be its flowers, fruits and even its buds.

In addition, this insect has a series of very particular morphological characteristics, since the male has a third vestigial segment of the labial palp, a rear wing with a curved elevation and a kind of mechanism that has the function of blocking or braking the wing, such as a bridle. Male genitalia are asymmetrical and female genitalia have very different ventral and dorsal sides, with an oblique, relatively asymmetric antrum.

Damage of the insect Anarsia lineatella

Damage to flowers

This usually occurs in early spring, in this period the worms penetrate the shoots and kill them.

Damage to sprouts

This is a particularly dangerous damage to plants; to the point that the larvae enter the interior of the plant and open tunnels at the level of the pith. In a short time the shoots wither and later die; frequently the larvae also eat the base of the groups of leaves, causing the same deterioration that occurred in the shoots.

Fruit damage

The damage done to fruits is similar to that produced by the oriental moth or Cydia molesta. The larvae tunnel into the pulp initially superficially, then deeper. Pieces are usually seen coming out through the joined points. The fruits tend to fall off the tree or rot as a result of secondary pathogens.


The activity related to the nutrition of the larvae begins in the spring, during the time of the vegetative restart. The youngest larvae remain during the winter in tiny shelters under the bark of the young branches. Meanwhile, the movement of adult insects occurs in late spring during the months of May to June, always obeying the ambient temperature.

Stages of development


At this stage the insect has the appearance of a butterfly 10 to 16 mm in length, it has narrow, grayish wings with dark and light lines.


The eggs of the Anarsia lineatella have the following dimensions, 0.3 x 0.5 mm, they are elongated, white and shiny, then they turn yellow with the passage of time.


This has an approximate length of 14 to 16 mm, the head shows alternating rings of black and brown body around the abdomen that give it a ring-like appearance.


In this stage that the insect goes from larva to adult, it presents a brownish color that can ordinarily be seen in protected places in the tree

Defense methods

There are various methods to combat and eliminate Anarsia lineatella, these include both chemical control and integrated defense processes. The integral defense method against the insect is carried out through samplings and then with the evaluation of the adults present.

In the adult capture method, a series of pheromone traps are used to attract both female and male specimens. Once several samples are verified, a decision can be made as to the most efficient strategy.

A widely used procedure that gives good results is the propagation of substances capable of causing sexual confusion in insects. These substances, used at appropriate time intervals during the different stages of insect development, are capable of greatly limiting its appearance, thanks to the fact that it prevents the attachment of adult insects.

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