Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizers

Found on grapevine in Southern AZ
Location: Southern Arizona SE Tucson PIma county
August 3, 2011 3:18 pm
We have an infestation of what seem to be caterpillars. They start out very small and grow to be pretty hearty looking caterpillars with light green/yellow, and purple bands. They are only on the grape vine in the backyard and have not gone to any other plant in the yard. I hate to harm them but they are killing the vine. Any idea what they may be? Thank you!
Signature: Thankful for your time, Ashley Goode

Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizers

Hi Ashley,
We believe you would be justified in removing these Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizers,
Harrisina metallica, from your grape vine.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge and lay eggs on leaves soon after bud-break in spring. Early instars feed gregariously on undersides of leaves which they skeletonize. Later instars spread out and may defoliate entire vineyards. Several generations per year.”

4 thoughts on “Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizers”

  1. Other than handpicking these off to feed our chickens, what is the best way to prevent the western grape leaf skeletonizer from eating all my leaves?

    • We do not provide extermination advice. Perhaps one of our readers will have experience and they can provide the information.


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