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Adult iris borers are stout, medium sized moths with a wingspan of 3.8–5 cm (1.5–2 inches). The head and forewings are covered with purplish brown scales and the hind wings are yellowish. The forewings have thin dark zigzag lines, a more conspicuous dark kidney-shaped spot, and variable sooty shading around the margins. The bottom edge of the forewings is noticeably scalloped. Eggs are highly sculptured and are found primarily in the folds of dried out, brown, dead leaves of iris plants. Initially a creamy color with a greenish tinge, the eggs turn lavender with age. Full grown caterpillars are cylindrical, smooth, and pinkish-white. They measure up to 4.4 cm (1.7 inches) long. Pupae are dark brown to nearly black and very shiny.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
May 20, 2015