- Subfamily: Pyraustinae
- Wingspan: 22-29 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Host plants: Asteraceae, Chenopodiaceae
The Loxostege sticticalis also called Beet Webworm is a moth of the Crambidae family, subfamily Pyraustinae, with a wingspan of 22-29 mm.
In Europe it can be found practically everywhere. In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
It is widespread in the Palearctic and Neartic ecozones.
The front wing has the background color is yellowish-brown with a pattern of light and dark spots, sometimes two dark spots stand out in the median area. A thin yellowish band is visible, wavy along the external margin in contrast with the general coloring of the wing. The contrast between the light and dark patches presents a certain variability, sometimes the wing can appear in an almost uniform color but the thin yellowish band it is a good distinctive character. The wings are fringed with brown fringes.
The hind wings are yellowish brown with darker shades towards the margin, a narrow brown band is visible along the edge except in the anal area. The hind wings are also fringed in brown color.
The sexual dimorphism is given by the smaller size of the males, and by the antennae which in the males are ghettete while in the females they are filiform. **
The eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves, on the shoots and on the ground, singly or in batches (2-3 and more, sometimes up to 20 eggs) The development of the eggs lasts from two 2-15 days.
The larvae develop for 10-30 days depending on the temperature and reach the length of 35 mm at the last stage. The color of the larvae ranges from greenish to greenish-gray and black. A dark stripe extends on the dorsal side and two dark stripes on the lateral sides. The larval head is black with clear patterns. The larvae feed on leaves and shoots and overwinter inside cocoons in the ground after finishing their feeding.
Pupae vary in color (yellowish to dark brown) and body weight (12 to 60 mg). Pupal development lasts 7-38 days. **
Loxostege sticticalis is polyvoltine. The adult moth lives 4 to 20 days. It can be found in cultivated areas, gardens, sometimes on the borders of urban areas. Adults are visible in flight from May to September.
The larvae feed on Asteraceae in particular on Artemisia and on Chenopodiaceae such as Atriplex, Beta, and Chenopodium album.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries -http://www.agroatlas.ru/