ⓘ Keiferia lycopersicella

Keiferia lycopersicella

ⓘ Keiferia lycopersicella

Keiferia lycopersicella, the tomato pinworm, is a moth of the family Gelechiidae. It is found in warm areas in Mexico, California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas. It has also been reported from greenhouses in Delaware, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The wingspan is 9-12 mm. There are seven to eight generations per year.

The larvae feed on Solanaceae species, including Lycopersicon esculentum, Solanum melongena, and Solanum tuberosum, of the nightshade carolinense, Solanum xanthii, Nightshade, and Solanum umbelliferum bahamense. Young larvae use silk to spin a tent. Under cover of that tent, they create a tunnel in a sheet of its owner. Continued feeding results in a blotch-like mine, which you can usually find on the same sheet. The third and fourth larval instars feed from within tied leaves or the folded parts of the sheet. They can also enter stems or fruits.