Euzophera pinguis

Biocontrol of olive pyralid moth

Common name: Olive pyralid moth
Scientific name: Euzophera pinguis
Order: Lepidoptera
Affects: Olive tree
Main season: Spring, summer and fall

Prays citri

General information

Euzophera pinguis (Haw) is a Lepidoptera that causes the young olive trees to die and reduces the production of mature crops. It is considered the third most serious pest for Spanish olive groves.

Morphology biology

In its larval stage, the insect is found inside the trunk of the olive tree at a depth of 4 to 5 mm, making it almost impossible to reach with chemical treatments. It is only vulnerable when its biological cycle is known and the moment of egg laying, which takes place outside the gallery, are determined.

Seasonal cycle of Euzophera pinguis in the province of Jaen

The eggs are oval, flat and have a finely reticulated structure. They are pinkish-white, turning a darker colour as the incubation process advances. The female lays the eggs individually or in small groups of 4 to 5 eggs in the cracks and fissures of the branches.

The larva reaches 25 mm in length and is a light green colour. Its head and thorax are black. The pupa, which is a brown colour, grows inside a fairly dense silk structure of about 10 to 15 mm long.

The adult is a cream-coloured moth with a wingspan of 20 to 25 mm. The forewings have two pale stripes in a zig-zag pattern. The hindwings are primarily white with a thin brown border.

Euzophera pinguis larva


Symptoms and damages

The presence of fissures and bulges on the bark are the result of galleries that have been perforated by the larva, which prevent the flow of sap.

The existence of exterior accumulations of brown excrement joined by silk threads, are due to the build-up of faecal matter and sawdust removed by the larva and accumulated at the entrance of the gallery. These prevent both the sunlight and natural enemies of Euzophera pinguis larvae from entering. To recognise them, just raise the areas of bark with presence of excrements and sawdust. Continue excavating along the gallery until the larva or pupa is found.

Discolouration of the leaves in branches attacked by the insect. This symptom is especially severe at the tips of the highest branches. However, as the attack develops, this discolouration can be seen on the rest of the tree.

Strong defoliation of the branches that are already infested, which usually means that they have dried up. In the case of young olive trees, this can be mortal. The mortality rate is very high in young olive trees between 4 and 10 years old.

Euzophera pinguis mainly attacks mainly healthy trees. The first visible signs of a tree that has been attacked are not very obvious therefore, it is not noticeable at first.

In general, the only sign that the farmer notices before the first dry branches appear, is the larvae that are in the cuts of the branches, which are exposed after pruning or in the fissures caused by removing the suckers.

With the exception of the winter months, this pest can be found at any time throughout the year, in all and every one of its developmental stages: larva, butterfly, eggs and adults. This makes it very difficult to establish a plan of action against this moth. Furthermore, it grows according to the temperature. That is why the olive areas of Cordoba and Malaga are infested with these Lepidoptera all year round. This is due to the extinction of its natural enemies by uncontrolled and mass use of pesticides.

Detection and monitoring

1 to 2 traps per hectare should be placed at the same height as the crops or on a specific support. The traps should be placed in spring.

Mass trapping

Primarily, the males of this species are captured in order to reduce mating, meaning that the unfertilised females will lay unviable eggs. In this way, the pest population is reduced.

For mass trapping, the number of traps per surface area must be increased, depending on the location and uniformity of the plots. One trap controls a surface area of 1.000 m2.

This means a density of 10 traps per hectare.

Period of use

To obtain good control of Euzophera pinguisit is advisable to combine two methods: detection and monitoring; and mass trapping.

In spring, 1 trap per hectare can be placed for the detection of the pest and the observation of its population levels. With tolerance thresholds established in each area, the moment to adopt control measures, in this case mass trapping, can later be defined.

The tolerance threshold for Euzophera pinguis is very low and varies depending on the area. In general, it is approximately 3 captures per trap and week. For mass trapping, we recommend that traps should be placed throughout the plots.

Necessary material


The ECONEX EUZOPHERA PINGUIS 2 MG 40 DAYS diffuser should be placed in a small cage that is in the centre of the trap lid.

pheromone diffuser ECONEX EUZOPHERA PINGUIS 2 MG 40 DAYS

Sexual pheromone diffuser of the species Euzophera pinguis to attract males, with a duration of 40 days in normal field conditions

Code: UIPHOVA207
OMDF register number (Ministry of Agriculture of Spain): 058/2014


It is the most suitable trap for the majority of lepidopterans, especially large moths.

Code: UIPFETA001
OMDF register number (Ministry of Agriculture of Spain): 123/2015


Recommended trap for counting most lepidopterans, especially large moths.

Code: UIPFETA027
OMDF register number (Ministry of Agriculture of Spain): 123/2015

Factors that influence the number of traps needed

The pest population, the bordering crops, level of control required, etc…

One important factor is the size of the crops. In small and irregular crops, a greater number of traps are required than in larger and more uniform plots.

Another important factor is the distance between plots that have the same pest. In cases like this, the borders of the plots must be reinforced, so it could be necessary to place up to 20 traps per hectare or even more for mass trapping.

Packaging difussers


Corrugated cardboard box of 400 units (20 packs of 20 units).
Box size: 0.32 x 0.24 x 0.22 m (length x width x height).
Box weight: 1.5 kg.

envase de 20 unidades

Envase de 20 unidades.

Caja con 400 unidades

Box of 400 units.
(20 packs x 20 units)

Packaging traps


Corrugated cardboard box of 35 units.
Box size: 0.60 x 0.40 x 0.35 m (length x width x height).
Box weight: 9.80 kg.
Number of boxes per pallet: 20
Pallet size: 1.20 x 0.80 x 1.95 m (length x width x height).
Pallet weight: 206 kg.

Caja con 2000 unidades

Box of 35 units.


Corrugated cardboard box of 35 units.
Box size: 0.60 x 0.40 x 0.35 m (length x width x height).
Box weight: 9.80 kg.
Number of boxes per pallet: 20
Pallet size: 1.20 x 0.80 x 1.95 m (length x width x height).
Pallet weight: 206 kg.

Caja con 2000 unidades

Box of 35 units.

Recommended information:


Leaflet in PDF format that can be downloaded by clicking on the image.



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