Pink bollworm

Pectinophora gossypiella

Pink bollworm is a major pest of cotton in southern California deserts. While apparently established in the San Joaquin Valley, economic infestations have not occurred in this area. Adults are small, grayish brown, inconspicuous moths. When their wings are folded, they have an elongated slender appearance. The wing tips are conspicuously fringed. Young larvae are tiny, white caterpillars with dark brown heads. When mature, they are about 0.5 inch long and have wide transverse pink bands on the back. To be able to see pink bollworm larvae, bolls have to be cracked open. The first and second instars are difficult to see against the white lint of the bolls. Eggs are very small, slightly elongated, and laid under the calyx of green bolls.

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