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Spruce needleworm, Paler dolichomia moth

Spruce needleworm, Paler dolichomia moth -
  • Latin name: Dolichomia thymetusalis (Walker)
  • French name:
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Pyralidae



This species occurs in the central interior of British Columbia; it also occurs east to Newfoundland.



Damage, symptoms and biology

The spruce needleworm is a rather uncommon innocuous solitary defoliator.

Mature larva up to 20 mm long. Head, black unmarked. Body, tan with dark brown middorsal, subdorsal and spiracular stripes.

This species overwinters in the pupal stage. Adults emerge in May; larvae are present from June to August and pupation occurs in August.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Spruce needleworm, Paler dolichomia moth

Diet and feeding behaviour

  • Phyllophagous : Feeds on the leaves of plants.
    • Free-living defoliator: Feeds on and moves about freely on foliage.
Information on host(s)

Spruce needleworm is restricted to spruce, including Engelmann spruce and white spruce.

Main host(s)

Engelmann spruce, white spruce