Pear fruit worm pics

MichaelOctober 18, 2009

Greetings worm lovers:

I found this little bugger in one of the fruit from the neighbor's tree yesterday. Can't say what pear variety it is but they started falling off the tree about 2 weeks ago (still hard as rocks) and start to soften on the kitchen table about 10 days to 2 weeks later. Even when they begin to soften, they are still quite firm but sweet and juicy, after that stage they begin to rot and shrivel. I assume they are Asian pears.

Anyway the first of 3 pics is the rear end view of the critter below, the worm's length is 8 - 10 mm long and it's color is rendered well in the pics. Oh BTW, it was in damaged tissue just below the skin and there was no tissue damage deeper than 1/4of the way to the core.

2nd pic is a top view

Last pic is a side view

My concern is simply IDing the thing for future as my trees should be bearing next year if all goes well (1st tree had 1st flower clusters this year) and it would be handy to know what may be lurking out there. My orchard is in north-central KS.


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Looks like a leaf roller. At least that is a possibility. They often web up a leaf next to a fruit. They attach the leaf to the fruit with their webbing. Or they just roll up in one or two leaves in webbing. When a fruit is involved, they feed on the surface of the leaf and the fruit.

I have them outside and in my greenhouse. They come in varying sizes and attack all kinds of fruit and nut trees.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 6:15PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Perhaps codling moth.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 10:30PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Reason I said leaf roller rather than codling moth is that damage to the fruit was only on the surface. Codling moth goes to the core. Leaf roller is a surface feeder. But jean is right in that a worm in an apple or pear your mind goes first to CD.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 9:01AM
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I did have some CM damage this year that didn't penetrate too deeply, the worm evidently being killed by Spinosad residues on the young fruit.

I would guess that CM are more inclined to tunneling than leafroller? Or no?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 9:48AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Leaf rollers don't tunnel, they are surface feeders. They often feed over a fairly large area, all the area they have covered with a leaf and their webbing. The pattern of damage is much different than CM.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:48AM
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Thanks for the thoughts all: Maybe it is an insect that prefers to go deep but can't because this is some very hard fruit. I've read somewhere where the stage of fruit development when the fruit is attacked can dissuade deeper intrusions into fruit than would otherwise occur. I don't know.

I have yet to see any CM on peach and apple over the last 4 years in my location. This is not to say there is none. The apples get bagged and peaches get sockies, both are sprayed prior to that.

Either I'm darned good (unlikely), the cultural methods and sprays have worked, there are no CM around here or I'm lucky so far (the most likely). Perhaps a combination of some of the above.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 1:58PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Hi Michael,

Agree with Fruitnut the feeding sounds like leafroller. What's strange is the most common apple leafroller is the Oblique banded leafroller. Their larva are green, which doesn't match the picture. There are other leafrollers though.

Great picture.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 2:02PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

As was said, leafrollers are surface feeders.

I suggest codling moth for a number of reasons:
- wrong color for leafroller; they generally tend toward the greenish side.
- correct "pinkish" color for CD
- light brown head capsule, as for CD
- light brown pro-thoracic plate (just behind the head, again as for CD.
- codling moths burrow into the fruit; This one may have caught before it made it that far. Or perhaps it was just plain lazy.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 12:03AM
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Jean: what do you mean by "CD" I assume you mean CM?

I did find a few oblique-banded leaf rollers this year as evidenced below, do you concur?


    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:20PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Oops. Yes; it should be CM rather than CD. (sigh)

And yes, the dark-headed fellow is a leafroller. Doesn't much matter which one. Seldom, if ever, a significant problem for trees.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 10:20PM
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