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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

giant emperor moth (Saturnia pyri)

Host plants / species affected
Acer (maples)
Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)
Alnus (alders)
Betula (birches)
Corylus avellana (hazel)
Cydonia (quince)
Fagus (beeches)
Fraxinus excelsior (ash)
Juglans regia (walnut)
Malus domestica (apple)
Malus sylvestris (crab-apple tree)
Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)
Platanus orientalis (plane)
Populus nigra (black poplar)
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus domestica (plum)
Prunus dulcis (almond)
Prunus persica (peach)
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)
Prunus spinosa (blackthorn)
Pyrus communis (European pear)
Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)
Salix (willows)
Syringa vulgaris (lilac)
Tilia (limes)
Ulmus (elms)
List of symptoms/signs
Leaves  -  external feeding
Symptoms
The larvae are mainly diurnal and prefer older leaves, often stripping growing shoots, particularly in the final instar. Fully-grown larvae can often be found sitting fully exposed on stems they have denuded.

Prevention and control
Most of the standard chemical pesticides used to control insect pests on fruit trees will control this species, for example, carbaryl or chlorpyrifos.
Impact
S. pyri has little economic impact. In Italy, S. pyri, which is usually only a very minor pest can, when the occasional outbreak occurs, rapidly defoliate pear and apple trees (Bertucci, 1983) (particularly pear trees). A few larvae can be particularly destructive in tree nurseries (Novák, 1980). This species has also been recorded as a pest of almond trees in the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel) (Talhouk, 1977).

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