Description and photo of the caterpillar and butterfly Hawthorn how to fight

Among the many garden pests, butterflies are not the last. These insects themselves are completely harmless and feed on the nectar of flowers, acting as pollinators. But the butterflies are not only beneficial. Their offspring would be able to starve their parents if the "cunning" butterflies did not feed on other plants, leaving some species for food to their caterpillars.Among the pest butterflies there is one modest hawthorn, so named because one of the food plants for its larvae is hawthorn. If the common hawthorn was limited to this tree, it would not bring much harm. But it does serious damage to gardens, parasitic on fruit trees. For this reason, gardeners do not like little white shy.

Butterfly description

The butterfly hawthorn belongs to the family of whitefish and justifies the name of the family. She has completely white wings that cross the dark veins. Sometimes the underside of the wings of the hawthorn may be reddish, yellow or orange. But actually it is the color of pollen. The larvae are in close contact with the stamens of flowers and pollen falls on the wings. The use of the hawthorn as an insect pollinator is indisputable. The only question is: does this benefit outweigh the benefits? tracks harm. In the photo of the butterfly of the hawthorn below it can be seen that in the "original" form these insects contain only white and black colors.

The wingspan of an adult individual is 5–6.5 cm. The length of the front wing is up to 3.5 cm. This species is distributed throughout Eurasia and in Africa.

Caterpillar description

The older caterpillar hawthorn has a length of about 4.5 cm. The caterpillar is gray on the sides with two longitudinal yellow stripes on the back. Between the yellow stripes is black. As seen in the photo of the caterpillar haws below, the larvae of this butterfly have protective bristles. So, besides the cuckoo, few birds will risk to eat this pest.

On a note!

The main question that worries all gardeners, what feeds the caterpillar hawthorn, because in fact the damage caused by the butterfly hawthorn comes not from an adult insect, but from its larvae.

Caterpillar and Butterfly Hawthorn
Caterpillar and Butterfly Hawthorn

What to eat

These garden pests are not limited to the title hawthorn. They also damage the main garden trees:

  • plums;
  • apple trees;
  • pears;
  • apricots

Because of these addictions caterpillars cause serious damage to cultivated gardens. But not only garden trees suffer from them. Love the larvae to eat and other plants:

  • rowan;
  • thorns;
  • spirea medium;
  • lingonberries;
  • steppe almond;
  • rose hips;
  • bird cherry

The wide food range makes these butterflies very dangerous pests.

On a note!

When feeding, they twist the branches of trees with a silky thread and move inside the shelter. The larvae are very voracious. Under favorable conditions, the caterpillar of the Hawthorn leaves only veinlets from the green leaf.

Life cycle

Butterflies winter in the state of pupae and their life cycle begins after they emerge from the pupa in June. In the south, with warm weather, butterflies begin years in May.


The beginning of the summer of haws served as a source of superstition about the "bloody rain." Indeed, the emergence of this type of imago from the state of the pupa is accompanied by the release of red fluid. It is not blood, but the physiological fluid of an insect.

After hibernation and mating, the female lays 60–100 eggs in batches of 12–14 eggs for “fodder” trees. After 2 weeks from the eggs appear larvae. Development will continue until frost. Mass release of larvae from eggs occurs in mid-July. Caterpillars grow slowly, feeding to the very cold. By frost, they grow to stage 3 and pupate in the winter.

The size of the pupa reaches 2 cm. The color can be gray in any shade. Be sure to have black spots. This species is undemanding to pupation sites and pupae can be found everywhere, including fences and outbuildings.But it is preferable to pupate the caterpillars on the branches and in the bark of the same trees on which they ate in the process of growth.

How long a hawthorn butterfly lives depends on what is meant by terms. If you take into account the entire life cycle, this insect lives just over a year. Imago - only 15 days.

Ways to fight

Ways to combat caterpillars
Ways to combat caterpillars

Few people will arrange silk-twisted dying trees instead of a rich harvest. Therefore, gardeners are trying to get rid of this insect, despite the benefits brought by adults. Hawthorn caterpillar control measures are similar to the methods applied to other pests:

  • attracting natural enemies;
  • chemical destruction;
  • the use of manual insect collection;
  • use of folk means of scaring and destruction.

The choice of how to fight the butterfly hawthorn depends on the contamination of the territory.

With a relatively low infection often attract birds, arranging blueprints and birdhouses in the garden. Wintering tits reach and peck caterpillars cocoons. In the spring, singing birds ruin the laying of haws, reducing the number of caterpillars by 70%.

When hand picking, the larvae are shaken off the trees onto the prepared material and then destroyed. The method is ineffective, since in this case only a small percentage of caterpillars come across gardeners.

With a high infection in spring, trees are treated with copper sulfate solution. Spray the trees before bud break. This method allows you to destroy all pests that hibernate under the bark.


Summer spraying chemicals need to be done when the larvae come out of the eggs. The caterpillars stick together, massively attacking one plant and eating it to the state of a skeleton. To detect the accumulation of larvae at this moment is not difficult. To protect the garden from the further spread of pests, caterpillars released from eggs are destroyed by spraying with pesticides or manually.

Folk remedies for butterfly haws are the same as for any other garden pests. To scare away females from the garden, they use infusions of sharp-smelling plants: wormwood, tobacco, garlic.


To reduce the number of pests after falling foliage and before the new blooming of buds, it is necessary to collect all the fallen leaves and burn them.Pick and burn the cocoons attached to the branches. On bare branches without foliage, these cocoons are clearly visible and will not be difficult to find them.

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