An invasive moth that feeds on carrots has been discovered for the first time in Minnesota.
A resident near Stillwater first noticed the purple carrot moth, also known as the depressaria depressaria, on his dill plants and reported it to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. A second report from Montgomery arrived a few days later.
With the help of the University of Wisconsin diagnostic laboratory, the scientists made the identification from photos.
“The impact of this insect is currently unknown, but since it is associated with the flowers and not the roots of the plants, the impact on carrot, celery and parsnip crops should be minimal,” said Angie Ambourn, supervisor of the MDA pest detection unit. . “Crops that are commonly grown for seeds, such as fennel, dill and cilantro, could be where we see the greatest impact.”
Purple carrot seed caterpillars feed on flowers, but they also attach floral parts with webbing and can render herbs like dill unusable.
The caterpillars are dark and distinctive and can be green or reddish with numerous white spots on their bodies, the agency said. They pupate in the web and emerge as small, purplish-gray adult moths shortly thereafter.
The moth is native to Western Europe, Russia and China and was first discovered in North America in 2008. It has been documented in southern Canada, Michigan, Indiana and India. Illinois. More recently, it was discovered in Wisconsin in 2018 and in Iowa in 2020.
Residents can report suspected purple leafroller at the MDA’s Report a Pest line by visiting www.mda.state.mn.us/reportapest or by calling 1-888-545-6684.