Leopard Moth

Zeuzera pyrina, The leopard moth

The leopard moth, Zeuzera pyrina is an important insect of apple, pears, olive, almond in Europe, North America, the Mediterranean and certain olive growing countries.

On young trees one leopard moth caterpillar is enough to kill a tree. Old trees are severely damaged, particularly in periods of drought.


Leopard moths have a general wing span of around 35-60 mm. Adult are stone –bodied, fluffy moths with coal black spots on white wings. The appearance of the wing pattern is similar to a leopards markings, hence the common name.

The larvae feed on the wood of a variety deciduous trees and shrubs, causing irreparable damage. The young caterpillar can be carried by the wind attached to a silk thread.



Russell IPM manufacture and supply pheromone lures, traps and complete monitoring systems for Leopard moth,Zeuzera pyrina. Pheromone trap data gives early warning of the infestation and also exhibits the density of the insect population.

Recent Literature

Hegazi, E. et al (2014) Population dynamics and economic losses caused by Zeuzera pyrina , a cryptic wood-borer moth, in an olive orchard in Egypt. Agricultural and Forest Entomology (2014), DOI: 10.1111/afe.12075

The study examined the nature and scale of damage caused by the leopard moth in Egypt. The infestation of four susceptible and five resistant olive cultivars in different cropping systems was varied within and between adjacent plots. The results suggested less infestation by intercropping of resistant varieties, which could assist in Zeuzera pyrina management. It was concluded that both temporal and spatial changes acted to strongly influence population dynamics and these are related to variations in the moth host plant.

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Rahimi, H et al (2012) Comparison of four colors and two different size of sticky surface of trap to catch Leopard Moth (Zeuzera pyrina). Agricultural Scientific Information and Documentation Centre, Agricultural Research and Education Organization

Leopard moth (Zeuzera pyrina) damages various economically important fruit trees, especially walnut and apple trees. Pheromone traps in orchards of walnut is one of the most effective methods for pest control. During 2011 to determine the best type and colour of traps (including: green, yellow, white, grey and white pinto) and the most efficient trap size, various samples were compared by factorial with completely randomized block design in Khorasan Razavi. The results of data analysis showed that there was no significant difference between treatments.

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