Arthropods •

Pterolonche inspersa

(Pterolonche inspersa)


Pterolonche inspersa (brown-winged knapweed root moth) is a moth of the family Pterolonchidae. It is found in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sardinia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and Crete. It was released as a biological control agent for knapweed in Colorado, Montana, and Oregon and 1986, but there is no known establishment in the United States. The wingspan is about 20 mm. Adults are light-brown without distinct markings. There is one generation per year. The larvae feed on Centaurea species, including Centaurea diffusa. They tunnel into the root crown of their host plant and feed on the root tissue. As they reach the root cortex, they spin a silken tube and feed from within the tube. Mature larvae overwinter in the roots. In spring, a silken tube is made above the soil surface in which pupation takes place.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Insecta
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