Rhyacionia buoliana (Olethreutidae)

the European pine shoot moth


Adult Rhyacionia buoliana. Small, slender with an 18 mm wingspan. They have light orange-yellow heads and thoraces, grey abdomens and light reddish orange forewings mottled with silvery crosslines.


Rhyacionia buoliana larva (caterpillar). Hatch as pale yellow brown caterpillars, with black heads and thoracic shields, mature to dark brown and grow to 10 mm in length.


Terminal bud damaged by Rhyacionia buoliana larval feeding. Moths lay eggs on or near buds at the end of terminal buds in spring and early summer. Most two and three needle pines are susceptible. Larvae mine base of needles then burrow into a bud to overwinter. Mining damage is usually accompanied by webbing and a flow of resin. Most damage is done in the spring, secondary injury is in the form of deformation of the tree axis, forking and bushing.

Principal Hosts:

Ornamental pine trees, ponderosa pine.

Economic Importance:

Continued attack on terminal buds results in many secondary shoots which makes trees very bushy. There is great concern that introduction of this species into the pine forests of the interior could result in serious economic losses in commercial forests. Quarantine regulations are in effect on nursery stock moved from Vancouver to the interior. Every summer checks are made of ornamental trees in the interior and infested material is sprayed or removed.

Note: Good examples of damage can be seen outside Totem Park residence and also the old Western Forest Products Lab on campus.

References and Links:

Rhyacionia buoliana

EAG: 556-557; FC: 154.

See HForest (see also Diseases and Insects in British Columbia Forest Seedling Nurseries).

Additional Images:

Broken shoot resulting from EPSM infestation. Pupa in bud. Resin around infested bud. Current year infested buds.