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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

990265n – 19265   Dendrolimus pini Linnaeus, 1767
             European Pine Moth
Distribution Data for Dendrolimus pini
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Distribution: Europe, North Africa and central Asia; not found in North America north of Mexico.
and Size:
One generation per year, flight period between June and August. Depending on climatic conditions, two years may be necessary to complete the life cycle. Forewing length is 25-33mm in females and 30-40mm in males
Larva and
Host Plants:
Larvae are found feeding on Juniperus communis (Common Juniper) in addition to various Pinaceae, including Abies alba (Silver fir), Larix sibirica (Siberian Larch), Picea abies (Norway spruce), Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce), Pinus cembra (Swiss pine), Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine), and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir).

"Larvae of Dendrolimus have two thoracic transverse steel blue setal bands, [which] may be retracted".
Field Marks:
Female forewing grey with grayish-black narrow bands and a white spot in the basal third of the wing. Hindwing light brown. Male forewing gray with a large reddish-brown band bordered with black lines, also with a white spot in the basal third of the wing. Hindwing brown to dark brown.
Similar Species:
  • Adults may be confused with other Dendrolimus. D. punctatus forewing pattern is not distinct, with many of the pattern elements (lines on the forewings) fading into the grayish brown to light brown ground color. D. pini can be distinguished from non-target Dendrolimus and Gloveria by the presence of two projections on the valve, as opposed to a single projection. The length of these projections can be used to distinguish D. pini from the D. superans-sibiricus complex.

    In D. pini the smaller (lower or sternal) projection is less than or equal to the length of the longer projection. In the D. sibiricus and D. superans complex, the lower projection is at least half the length of the upper (dorsal) projection.

    The transverse bands found in the larvae distinguish Dendrolimus from Gloveria and other SW United States Lasiocampidae of similar size. These bands are red in Phyllodesma, and only one black band is present in Tolype.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
  • (1) Natural History Museum: HOSTS- A Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants website
  • (2) Molet, T., 2012. CPHST Pest Datasheet for Dendrolimus pini. USDA-APHIS- PPQ-CPHST., 1-10.
  • (3) Natural History Museum species page available here
  • (4) Passoa, S., 2007. Key to screen selected Lepidoptera larvae of quarantine significance to the southern United States. website
  • (5) Passoa, S., 2009. Screening key for CAPS target Lepidoptera in the Eastern and Midwestern United States (males). University of Maryland, 1-159.
  • (6) Species Page at BOLD Barcoding Project - website.
Photographs are needed for this species.

Moth Photographers Group  at the  Mississippi Entomological Museum  at the  Mississippi State University

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Database design and scripting support provided by Mike Boone