There are four main stages in the life cycle of a light brown apple moth. First, eggs are laid on the surface of fruit, or a fruit-tree leaf near fruit, in summer (top). Each egg – about 1 millimetre in diameter – hatches into a caterpillar grub (right), which tunnels into the fruit and eats the seeds. The caterpillar develops through several stages, until it is 20 millimetres long after three weeks. In winter it stops feeding and spins a cocoon, which is lodged under the tree bark or in holes in the tree. In early spring, the pupa (bottom) develops the features of an adult within the cocoon. The adult (left) emerges in late spring and starts laying eggs after two or three days. The timing of the stages can vary in different parts of New Zealand.
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