Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFTortricidae Members:
Rhyacionia Members:
1 NC Records

Rhyacionia buoliana (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) - European Pine Shoot Moth

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Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 620694.00 MONA Number: 2867.00
Comments: The genus Rhyacionia is widespread in the Holarctic Region, ranging from Japan and Asia to the Caribbean Antilles and Mexico (Powell and Miller, 1978). There are 33 described species worldwide and 24 in North America. The larvae feed on the needles, buds, and growing tips of pines.
Species Status: Rhyacionia buoliana is a European species that was introduced into the US and first reported in 1914. It has since spread widely and become a major pest on Red Pine and other pines in nurseries and pine plantations.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based on that of Forbes (1923). The head is white and the palps reddish-orange. The thorax is reddish and the tegula reddish with powdery gray tips. The ground color of the forewing is bright orange to reddish orange, with irregular shades of yellow. There are typically six to eight narrow anastomosing pale silver-gray to silvery-white transverse lines that are slightly edged with white at the costa. The fringe is light grayish brown, with a blackish line formed by bars near the tips of the first row of scales. The hindwing is light grayish-brown, with a pale fringe.
Wingspan: 18-26 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Forewing Length: 8.0 to 9.5 mm for males; 8.0 to 11.0 mm for females (Powell and Miller, 1978)
Adult Structural Features: Powell and Miller (1978) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. The antennal pectination of the male is minute, and < 0.1 the diameter of the antennal segments.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed on pines and the hatchlings initially spin webbing and bore through the needle sheaths and mine the bases of the needles. As the larva grows it moves to a bud and forms another webbed tent that is coated with resin and debris. The larva overwinters, then spins a larger tent in the spring that is coated with resin and debris. Feeding on enclosed buds causes the shoots to die and can disfigure trees. Pupations occurs either in burrows in the bud and stem, or within the tent (Miller et al., 1970). Local populations are univoltine, with the adults emerging and breeding in June and July.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Introduced in North America: Newfoundland south to Delaware and west to Upper Michigan and Missouri; also coastal British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon (Pointing and Miller 1967, Carolin and Daterman 1974). It also occurs through much of Europe and in a small area in South America (Obraztsov 1964, Miller 1967a).
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Flight Comments: (Miller et al., 1970). Local populations are univoltine. The adults breed from May through July, with a strong seasonal peak in June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This introduced species is found at northern latitudes where it primarily feeds on Red Pine. Shipments of nursery stock around the country allowed it to spread widely after its introduction, and it is commonly found in nursery stock. Our one historical record was likely associated with shipped nursery stock.
Larval Host Plants: This introduced pest feeds primarily on Red Pine, but will attack a variety of other non-native and native pines (Busck, 1915; Forbes, 1923; Heinrich, 1923; Craighead et al., 1950; English, 1958; Schaffner, 1959; Ageno, 1964; Miller, 1967; Miller et al., 1970; Beadle and Leckie, 2012). The reported hosts including Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana), Lodgepole pine (P. contorta), Austrian Pine (P. nigra), Swiss Mountain Pine (P. mugo), Ponderosa Pine (P. ponderosa), Red Pine (Pinus resinosa), Scotch Pine (P. sylvestris) and White Pine (P. strobus). Non-native species are most commonly infected when near stands of Red Pine. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and are often found in nursery stock and young pine plantations.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SNR
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This is an introduced species and significant pest that does not merit protection.