Environ. Horticulture, Pears, Cherries, and Viticulture
University of California
Environ. Horticulture, Pears, Cherries, and Viticulture

Distinguishing Drosophila Larvae from LBAM Larvae

Sometimes what seems so obvious from the isolated heights of the ivory tower is not so obvious for those working in the field.

In a query which is far from the first time, I had a question submitted over the weekend over whether worms emerging from strawberry fruit were LBAM.  LBAM, which is the acronym for light brown apple moth, is also found in berry fields as is Drosophila, but as a quarantined lepidoperous pest responds to different methods of control as well as carrying a heavy regulatory risk with it.  In short, it's real important to not get the two mixed up!

The picture below of the bell jar where the fruit in question was held shows what was found.  It's not LBAM. The larvae are quite small (probably 1/8" when fully grown), are white, are emerging from inside the fruit and have no webbing.  

The second picture is of an LBAM larva on strawberry. It's green in color, relatively large compared to Drosophila larvae (1/2 inch when fully grown is common), rarely is found inside the fruit and is almost always accompanied by an abundance webbing (as it is in the picture).

As always, really appreciate the input and questions as to what is all going on out there. 

Drosophila larvae emerging from strawberry fruit held under a bell jar.
Drosophila larvae emerging from strawberry fruit held under a bell jar.

LBAM larva in strawberry.  Green larva emerging from under the calyx, note the abundance of webbing to the left of the picture.
LBAM larva in strawberry. Green larva emerging from under the calyx, note the abundance of webbing to the left of the picture.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 11:38 AM

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