These moths will create new shoots mostly on Ponderosa, Austrian, Scotch, and Jack Pine trees.
Larvae vary from yellowish-white to pink to reddish-orange, with dark heads. Mature Nantucket and Western Pine Tip moth larvae are 9 to 12 mm long; mature southwestern pine tip moth larvae are 12 to 15 mm long. Coloration and wingspan of the moths varies with the species; however, most are a mottled reddish-brown and gray.
Nantucket Pine Tip moths live over winter as pupae in the buds, while the other tip moths live over winter as pupae in the ground. Moths appear during spring and females lay eggs on new growth. Nantucket Pine Tree moths have 2 to 4 generations per year. Western Pine Tip moths have 1 to 2 generations per year. Southwestern Pine Tip moths have one generation per year.
Larvae mine needles, buds, and new shoots, killing shoots and stunting tree growth. Old infested tips crumble when squeezed. Shoots infested with Southwestern Pine Tip moths commonly turn brown and bend over in a shepherd’s crook.