Hickory shuckworm

Cydia caryana

Shuckworms overwinter as pupae in old pecan shucks on the tree or scattered about on the orchard floor. Adults emerge from mid-April to mid-May, mate, and lay eggs. First generation eggs may be laid on hickory nuts, small pecan nutlets, or phylloxera galls. Larvae in pecan nutlets die when the nuts fall from the trees as the nuts are to small to allow development. Larvae in hickory and phylloxera galls develop in May and June and first generation adults emerge in late June and July. These adults lay eggs on pecan nuts and cover them with a gelatin-like material produced by the female. This material becomes creamy white and is a distinctive characteristic of shuckworm egg sites. The larvae feed in the nuts during July and August. Nuts damaged by this generation usually drop from the tree. Second generation adults emerge in late August and early September and give rise to a third generation of larvae. They feed in the pecan shucks during the fall, pupate, and overwinter. There are three generations per year in Oklahoma.
The adult is a small, dark brown to smoky black moth about 1/3 inch long. There is a series of dark and white marks on the outer edge of each front wing near the outer end. The larvae are white or cream colored with brown heads and are about 112 inch long at maturity.

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