I doubt you guys can tell, but I’m still trying to figure out what exactly is infesting my stone fruit and, to a much lesser degree, my apples.
A few other hints besides the photos: what few peaches I have are completely infested…they have tiny holes with clear, gel-like substance coming out and when opened there are several of these larvae. They are almost always in and around the pit- usually having eaten all the pit before the peach reaches golf ball sized.
The biggest symptom is that 99% (no exaggeration) of the tips of every single limb and each small branch on each limb are all killed and wilted and usually still contain one of these little pests.
I can’t differentiate any “life cycle”. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be any discernible ebb and flow of attacks. From shortly after the trees started putting on new growth until today (about 6 weeks) these guys have been ever present and seemingly constant in their attacks on limb/branch tips.
I have seen very, very few months or bugs of any kind, even when I go out with a flashlight at night. That blows my mind…considering the obviously extremely high numbers of bugs laying eggs that hatch into these larvae, I cannot believe that I almost never see those adults! I have seen a couple months which could be OFM or CM, and I’ve seen maybe 3 little bugs that I think were plum curculio.
I cannot tell if they legs or not…they roll in my hand but also are able to crawl in a straight line.
There are two pests that borrow into the shoot tips of peach/nectarine. Over here it’s the peach twig borer. They don’t usually ruin the fruit but can infest fruit. Further east there is the OFM. That’s probably what you are looking at as I believe they cause more fruit damage. Early sprays of BT as in Dipel knocked the PTB out of my greenhouse. The sprays need to be early and often because BT photo degrades rapidly.
CM doesn’t attack stone fruit to my knowledge. I never had damage in Amarillo where they ruined apples.
I’m not sure if that’s the same thing or not…that is the problem with these guys…they look sooooo similar. I’ve spent hours looking at photos of OFM and PC larvae and still can’t tell the difference. Yours looks like it has more distinct legs which is supposed to be an indicator…but its hard to tell. That’s why I was hoping the pros here could help us. I must say that fruitnut’s information already helped. I thought CM was another viable option but if they don’t like stone fruit I can definitely eliminate them. whatever I have definitely prefer stone fruit, though they will go for apples sometimes. He also gave us some products to investigate, so thanks for that!
Put them on your hand and see if they crawl or not. OFM have legs and can crawl (they can also move from twig to twig). PC have no legs and just sort of writhe around.
I thought I had some late PC in some cots yesterday. I put the worm on my hand and it crawled away … OFM. I also now realize I think I mis-ID’d a late infestation I had last spring, it was really OFM and I had diagnosed it as PC. Another useful clue to tell them apart is the PC holes rarely ooze and look for the crescent shaped cuts in the fruit where the egg was laid.
Alcedo’s plum looks like OFM with the legs, PC is completely legless. Not sure about Cityman’s grubs. It’s possible Cityman is holding PC, while OFM is infecting the shoots. If 95% of the shoots are flagging, it’s almost certainly OFM on the shoots any place east of the Mississippi.
You have all been extremely helpful. My guys can actually crawl in a forward directing even though its very hard to see any “legs”. Based on that and other insights provided here, I’m now fairly confident that OFM are my biggest problem. But since I have directly seen a few adult PC, its pretty clear that I have both. THanks to another recent thread, I’m going to start tracking down some more serious commercial sprays. Thanks!