Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller, 1873)
Solanum nigrum, Canary Islands, El Hierro
Solanum dulcamara, Belgium, prov. West Flanders, Oostduinkerke, RN Schipgatduinen © Stéphane Claerebout
Solanum nigrum, Belgium, prov. Namur, Jambes (gare) © Stéphane Claerebout
Oviposition is in the ground; larvae therefore have to search and mount a host plant. Large, glassy, irregular blotches without a recognisable preceding corridor. Frass in a black mass, mainly in the oldest part of the mine. The larvae move several times, and can also bore in the stem and underground parts.
Larvae in July – September (Bland ao, Britain, 2002a); several generations per year in warmer regions.
BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).
NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a; Microlepidoptera.nl, 2009).
LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).
distribution within Europe
All Europe south of the line Ireland – Southern Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2009). Originally a Neotropical species.
Described by Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).
Everywhere in the tropics and subtropics, including the Mediterranean Region, a serious pest on potato, to a lesser degree also tobacco. The main damage is caused by damaging the potato tubers (“potato tuber worm”).
Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Biesenbaum (2000b), Bland, Heckford & Langmaid (2002a), Elsner, Huemer & Tokár (1999a), Gómez de Aizpúrua (2003a), Hering (1927a, 1936b, 1957a), Huemer & Karsholt (2010a), Huertas Dionisio (2007a), Klimesch (1984a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Langmaid & Young (2009a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins (1998a), De Prins & Steeman (2011a), Rivera & Burrack (2012a), van Roosmalen, Wijker & Knijnsberg (2013a), Stehr (1987a), Swezey (1944a), Szőcs (1977a).