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The oriental fruit moth (Cydia Molesta), also known as the peach tip moth, first appeared in the Sydney district about 1909, and is now common in the coastal parts of this State, and also in some inland areas. It attacks peaches, nectarines, quinces and occasionally apples.
The adult measures about inch across its outspread wings. It is rarely seen in the orchard during the day.
The emergence of moths from the overwintcring generation begins early in September- or in coastal orchards even earlier - and continues until the end of October. These moths lay their eggs on the under-surfaces of the leaves or on the smooth stems in close proximity to the young shoots or fruit.
On hatching from the egg the young larva wanders about in search of a place to penetrate into a twig, and on finding a suitable site spins a web about itself and begins to tunnel. The larva may tunnel in a downward direction for 3 or 4 inches, causing the tip of the shoot to wilt and die. The twigs are usually entered near the tip. and an individual larva may attack as many as three shoots during its feeding period.
Where fruit is attacked the point of entry is usually at the stem end. hut may be where a leaf or a small branch is touching the fruit. On entering the fruit the larva tunnels its way through to the stone.
When the larva is fully-fed it makes its way from the stem or fruit in which it has
been feeding and seeks a place in which to spin its cocoon.
The complete life-cycle in summer, from egg to adult, is about thirty-three days, and there may he five generations a year. In some seasons, however, there may be a sixth generation.
As the later broods overlap, eggs, larvae in all stages of development, pupae and adults may he present at the same time in an orchard from September to April.