Previous tip moth infestation predispose trees to heavier attacks in subsequent generations
The Nantucket pine tip moth, Rhyacionia frustrana (Comstock) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is a common regeneration pest of pine plantations in the southeastern U.S.A. The insect has two to five generations annually depending on climate (Fettig et al. 1999a, USDA For. Serv. Res. Pap., In press). Following oviposition and eclosion, first-instar larvae bore into needles and begin mining between the epidermal layers. Resin from this boring is the first visible sign of tip moth infestation but is often difficult to detect. Second-instar larvae feed at needle and bud axils and produce a web which becomes covered with resin and is the first readily visible sign of attack. Third through fifth instars enter the buds and shoots where their feeding severs the vascular tissue and kills the apical meristem. Pupation occurs in the buds or shoots killed by larval feeding (Berisford 1988, In A. A. Berryman, ed. Dynamics of Forest Insect Populations, Plenum Pub. Corp.).