Zlatoguzka, or golden silkworm, belongs to the family of Volnianok butterflies. Often we see it on warm nights, often calling it a night moth. Her whole appearance evokes sentimental feelings in a person; sometimes we do not even presume how deceptive nature can be, creating dangerous pests with seemingly lovely ones.
In the photo, the gold-wreck looks delicate and fluffy.Fluffy night beauty - goldfinder
The distribution area of the goldsmiths is small, but it affects almost the entire European continent, as well as part of Central and Asia Minor. In Russia, the butterfly lives throughout the European part of the Urals in the east and the forest-tundra in the North.
Reference! Since oak leaves are the favorite delicacy of the gold-tails, we can say this: there is an oak - golden silkworm can also be present.
Let us begin with a description of the adult, an adult goldfinch butterfly. As can be seen from the above photo, her body is yellow, one can even say - golden, for which she was given another name - the little bullet. The span of the white and fluffy wings is about 30-35 millimeters, which is a very impressive figure for butterflies of this family.
The golden silkworm has a pronounced dimorphism, the difference in individuals of the opposite sex.Sexual dimorphism: on the left - the male, on the right - the female
As can be seen from the figure, the female's abdomen is more voluminous and has a lighter color.
The caterpillar of the gold-wagger reaches a length of four centimeters and is colored gray-black with an orange-red pattern.Caterpillar goldfinder
The body of the caterpillar is covered with long hairs that can cause certain troubles to people and animals.
- Touching them may cause a minor burn to the skin.
- Particles of hair are dangerous to the respiratory tract. This is especially inconvenient for people with an increased allergic reaction.
Attention! A solution of baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, will help to relieve pain and itching from burns of the gold tails. To do this, a spoonful of powder is dissolved in a liter of warm water and swab the damaged area with a swab.
Let us turn to the description of the life cycle of the little goldsmith. Her eggs hibernate in their silk cocoon. By the way, due to the presence of such protection, the pest tolerates the most severe winters. With the onset of spring positive temperatures, larvae appear from the eggs.
It should be noted that insects in the larvae, pupa and imago stage are very thermophilic. So, for example, the larvae yield is optimal when the average daily temperature comes to not less than 12 degrees Celsius. Then the caterpillars begin to feed actively, passing through several stages of molting.
It is interesting! Male gold wishers change their outfit four times, and fashionable females - five!
For about a month, the larvae feed on the affected tree, hiding in their cocoons for the night. Then, when the temperature rises to 25-27 degrees, pupation occurs. Black-brown pupae develop two to three weeks depending on external factors, after which adult individuals are born.
The reproduction period of the gold-wrecker, her years, in the Middle Belt is in July — August. After mating, females prepare cocoons in which up to three hundred eggs with a diameter of half a centimeter are placed. Laying placed on the bottom of the sheet and covered with delicate hairs from the abdomen.
In a month, the second generation of caterpillars appears, which goes under the winter inside the cocoons. This generation pupates in the spring and gives butterflies of the second age.
Nutrition and distribution
Butterfly wagons are not capable of long-haul flights, therefore they mostly live locally at a certain part of the terrain. The spread of the golden silkworm is more due to the wind, which carries cocoons with eggs or pupae.
Gold-tailed beetles feed on tree leaves, preferring, as mentioned above, oaks. In addition, they are able to devour plants such as:
Mostly gold-wishers feed on a short young growth, which has the most tender leaves. Having gnawed the leaves from the branches almost completely, the larvae move to the next bush and continue their feast.Tree affected by the goldsmiths' larvae
As it became clear from the previous chapter, golden silkworm represents a great danger to garden and park plantings. Especially sorry for young trees and shrubs, which are the first victims of an insatiable pest.
A tree or shrub devoid of leaves becomes defenseless, ceases to receive affordable food from the sun, stops the process of photosynthesis, and subsequently dies.
The danger is that after hitting one bush, the pest does not eat enough, but moves to neighboring plants, where it feeds up to pupation.
Our best helpers take the most part of the fight against gold-tailed beetles: birds and predatory insects. Especially different in the fight against this fluffy plague of jay, tit and cuckoo. Therefore, the best protection of your garden will be to attract these useful helpers to the site.
Tip! Do not spare the forces for the equipment of bird feeders in your garden. This is especially true of the winter season. If you are accustomed to feed in the winter on your site, the birds will visit you in the summer.Titmouse flew to treat
Another useful helpers are predatory insects. Among them it is worth noting:
- Tachin flies
- and others.
One of the most important activities in the fight against golden silkworm is a preventive inspection of the trees growing on your site. It is best to determine the degree of infection visually in the autumn period after most leaves have fallen.
At this time, as well as in the spring before bud break, cobweb cocoons are most easily seen on the branches. Single formations can be collected by hand, and if the defeat is widespread, cutting the branches and then burning them will be the best solution.
Attention! These prophylactic clippings will give the best result when they are held in conjunction with neighbors in the area. If there is a tree with pests behind the fence, it is highly likely that they will want to visit your garden too.
If preventive measures were not taken or the measures taken did not produce results, you should arm yourself with heavy weapons - toxic chemicals. It’s not a pity to water the apples, but it’s necessary. Apply the drugs to the release of caterpillars from cocoons, or when a massive lesion is detected. Insecticides use the same as for the destruction of other insects, the same Colorado potato beetle, for example.
We illustrate our story with a video about creating hunting belts that can protect trees from pests.
The wingspan of an adult individual can reach 40 millimeters. The overall color is white, the end of the abdomen has a hair bundle. Antennae yellow in the form of a comb. Eggs are round, up to 0.5 millimeter in size, of a light color.
The caterpillar is up to 40 millimeters long, dark gray or even black, with warts on its back. White dotted stripes on the sides. In the first two segments there are cavities containing poisonous glands covered with hairs. Contact with human skin can cause very strong irritation.
Wintering of gold-wishers takes place in the stage of caterpillars, in nests at the ends of shoots. As the bud breaks, the caterpillars emerge and begin to feed. Their development lasts about 5 weeks, by June pupation begins. And after 3 weeks already begins the flight of the butterfly itself, ready for laying eggs. Each laying reaches 300 pieces.
Most gardeners have successfully used against the goldfinder the infusion of hellebore. To prepare it will need about 300 grams of dried rhizomes, leaves and stems. They are filled with about a bucket of water and kept for at least 2 days.
Then the resulting liquid should be carefully drained. Ready infusion is used with any type of sprayer.