Dioryctria. amatella is one of six species of pine coneworms found in Florida. Others include: the blister coneworm (Dioryctria clarioralis (Walker)), the webbing coneworm (Dioryctria disclusaHeinrich), the south coastal coneworm (Dioryctria ebeli Mutuura & Monroe), the loblolly pine coneworm (Dioryctria merkeli Mutuura & Monroe), and the lesser loblolly pine coneworm (Dioryctria taedivorella Neunzig & Leidy) (Ebel et al. 1980). A seventh species, the bald cypress coneworm (Dioryctria pygmaeella Ragonot), is only known on junipers and cypress. Dioryctria amatella can be distinguished from these other species by distinct adult and larval characteristics and biology, and differences in damage.
Adult moths of Dioryctria amatella have a wingspan of 27 to 32 mm, with dark grey, to brown, to nearly black forewings boldly patterned with multiple contrasting white patches and zig-zag crossbands. The hindwings are nearly uniformly light grey to tan in color. Larvae range from 1.5 mm upon hatching to 25 mm at maturity. When young, their bodies are nearly white with seven longitudinal stripes and a brown head. Older larvae are dark reddish to purplish brown above and whitish green on the underside. Abdominal segments exhibit beadlike patterns of small black pits and dark elevated setal bases (Ebel et al. 1980).
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