Eteobalea intermediella

Scientific name: Eteobalea intermediella
Order/Family: Lepidoptera / Cosmopterygidae

Larva      Photos by: Rosemarie De Clerck-Floate 
Photo at right by: Rich Hanson, USDA-ARS

The adults are usually about 8-9 mm long. Their wingspan is 16-18mm. Their wings are their most defining characteristic. They are dark brown with black and white spots. The larvae are a cream color.  They have brown head capsules.(1)

Life cycle:

The Wintering stage: Eteobalea intermediella winters as a larvae and they stay inside the root until late summer and early fall. (1)
The Egg stage: The eggs are laid in the leaf axils on the lower part of the stem in strands of 3-8.(1)
The Larval stage: The newly hatched larvae mine down into the roots and feed on the root cortex. As many as 3-7 larvae can by found in the root system of one plant depending on the size of the roots.(1)
The Pupal stage: The pupal stage takes place in the root crown or the base of the stem in late summer to early fall.(1)
The Adult stage: The Adults are visible in late summer and early fall and live for a couple of weeks. They are about 8-9 mm long. The adults do not feed while in this stage. After mating the females lay eggs in strands of 3-8 and can lay up to 180 eggs.(1)

Damage to host: The damage to the host is all done in the larval stage. The targeted plants are Dalmatian and yellow toadflax. E. intermediella does not usually kill the host plant, but for the most part it decreases the flowering and seed production and lowers the vitality of the plant.(1)

Favorable release habitats: They prefer grasslands and places along the road infested with yellow or Dalmatian toadflax.(1)

How and Where to Collect: Collect the adults with a sweep net in late summer at sites where they are established (with permission of course!).  They are not well established yet in the United States.  Contact your local weed fighters to see if this insect is available.(2)

Where and How to Purchase:
They are not well established yet in the United States.  Contact your local weed fighters to see if this insect is available.(2)

Remarks: This insect is particularly hard to find so your local weed management district might not have them. But, if you can get them I wish you good luck!  [Doug]

1. University,
This is the total number of links we were able to find.  If you find more, please e-mail them to our website:
Literature Cited:
(1) 1/14/02, Eteobalea intermediella, Rich Hanson, Cornell University, 0

(2)1/14/02, Dalmatian toadflax Linaria dalmatica (L.) Miller,1997 Ministry of Forests, Province of British Columbia, Canada,

By Doug T. and Hoss P.  1/24/02
Last updated
by: Amanda R. and U.I. 2/23/09.

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