Ceanothus Stem Gall Moth – Periploca ceanothiella

Ceanothus Stem Gall Moth (Periploca ceanothiella)

Latin Name: Periploca ceanothiella

Common Name: Ceanothus Stem Gall Moth


  • The adults (moths) are tiny, brown to dark grey, and have a wingspan of approximately 2/5 inch.
  • The white eggs have a diameter of around 1/50 inch.
  • The pale, segmented larvae reach a length of approximately 1/4 inch.

Host plant: Ceanothus integerrimus, Ceanothus velutinus and Ceanothus cuneatus

Territory:  It is found in North America,

Damages caused by Ceanothus Stem Gall:

Each gall, or stem swelling, is roughly 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide. Galls can range in number from one per linear foot of branch and twigs in light infestations to 20 or more per linear foot of branch and twigs in high infestations. The larval feeding harm may kill some twigs. The flower clusters can be reduced to around 25% of their usual size where gall moth larvae feed in inflorescences.

Description of Sap Suckers:

Sapsuckers are a species of woodpecker found in North America. Sapsucker wells are immediately identifiable. With its chisel-like beak, the bird drills a dozen or more tiny holes in a horizontal line, each less than half an inch apart. Then it returns to suck up the sap that has trickled out again. The bird produces the second row of holes slightly above the first when the flow begins to wane, generally after a few days. A sapsucker at work is identified by a rectangular pattern of nicely spaced holes in tree bark. The yellow-bellied sapsucker is the most common. It lives in Canada’s and Alaska’s frigid evergreen woods. It migrates east of the Rockies and spends the winter in the Southeast United States.


Life History and Habits:

During the spring and early summer, the moths emerge from the galls and mate. Females lay their eggs on buds and flowers, and the males eat the eggs. During the fall, the larvae burrow and feed in the shoot terminals, then overwinter in the galls. The larva makes an escape hole partially through the side of the gall before pupating in late winter or early spring, leaving a thin coating of plant tissue. The moth emerges from the hole covering after pupating into an adult. Every year, a new generation is born.