Agricultural entomology: Sesia of currant and kaki

Agricultural entomology: Sesia of currant and kaki

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Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: hetoneuri
Family: Sesidi
Genus: Synanthedon
Species: S. tipuliformis (Clerk.)

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

Host plants: Khaki, Vine, Hazel, Currant, Gooseberry, Raspberry, Evonimo.

Identification and damage

The Sesia is a butterfly (about 20 mm wingspan) with transparent wings and abdomen with black and yellow bands that ketermines with a tuft of hair. The larva, which is polypod, measures about 15 mm; it is yellowish-white with a brown head.
The larvae dig tunnels in the cortical tissues, going as far as the sapwood, thus damaging the conductor apparatus.
The tunnels are located mainly in the area of ​​the graft and at the base of the large branches. The plant shows yellowing of the crown and reduced development of vegetation; heavily infested branches can dry out and, made fragile by tunnels, can break under the action of the wind.

Biological cycle

Sesia winters as a larva, of different ages, inside the galleries in the plants.
When it reaches maturity, the larva moves to the bark and becomes incrisalida.
The adults flicker from a hole in the bark, previously prepared by the larva before incrisalidarsi.
The flickering can start as early as the second half of April, but most of them occur between June and July and can continue until September. The females, which are short-lived (about two weeks), lay a few dozen eggs at the insertions of the branches and the bifurcations of the branches, inside the cracks of the bark.
After about a couple of weeks the larvae are born which immediately penetrate the internal tissues, passing between the cracks and the wounds of the bark. The Sesia del Ribes turns one generation a year.

Khaki and currant Sesia adult - Synanthedon tipuliformis (Clerk.) (Photo Marius Virgiliu Aurelian)

Sesia larva of currant and khaki - Synanthedon tipuliformis (Clerk).
(photo Gyorgy Csoka, Hungary Forest Research Institute,


The fight against Sesia is mainly mechanical-chemical.
The mechanical struggle makes use of brushing of the bark, performed in winter especially at the insertion of the branches.
After brushing the logs, a chemical fight is carried out. It is carried out both with treatments aimed at the infested wood organs and during the first period of maximum flicker (in Emilia Romagna, approximately in the second decade of June). In the first case, phosphorganics possibly activated by white oil are used.
In the second case, some treatments are performed (at least a couple), with a cadence of about 15 days, with phosphorganics. Finally, in some cases, biological control interventions can be activated by using the entomoparasite nematode Neoaplectana feltiae.

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