Juniper Twig Gridler – Periploca nigra

Juniper Twig Gridler (Periploca nigra)

Latin Name: Periploca nigra

Common Name: Juniper Twig Gridler



Larva/Nymph is 6-7 mm long and has cream-colored with a brown head.


Adult Wingspan is about 9mm long and has small, shiny brown to black moth and Hairy wings.


Pupa Chrysalis is red-brown to brown and elongated in most species.

Host plant: Ornamental Juniperus


It has been observed from New York to Virginia and Louisiana to California in the United States.

Damages caused by Juniper Twig Gridler:

Tunnelling by juniper Foliage on little branches develops yellow, then browns, and dies as a twig girdler. There are patches of brown limbs among the green leaves by late summer. Twig girdler feeding makes junipers seem unattractive, but it doesn’t harm the entire plant. Junipers grown in pots to keep their size modest (bonsai) may be damaged.

Damages caused by Leaf chewers:

Insect chewing damage to plants can take numerous forms. Foliage or flowers may vanish when certain insects eat them. Occasionally, the plant will appear ragged and, upon closer inspection, will reveal bitten edges or cores. Plants can be cut at the root and topple over, or twigs can be girdled and die as a result. Mining or boring is the process of causing harm to a plant through chewing. Only the upper or lower surfaces are sometimes destroyed, producing a brown, burned look or skeletonization (openings between the veins).

Life history and Habits:

This moth may be a pest to ornamental juniper plants in the western United States. The larva feeds beneath the thin bark of the plant, causing the juniper branch to girdle and die. Although this seldom kills entire plants, large infestations result in juniper stands with numerous dead branches, decreasing the plants’ overall attractive look. Adults may be seen in the San Francisco Bay Area from May to June and Southern California from March to May. On woody stems, the females deposit small eggs. The hatching larvae tunnel in and eat for around nine months, from spring until winter. Every year, a new generation is born.