Grape cane girdler, Ampeloglypter ater LeConte

This is taken primarily from an extension bulletin by D. G. Pfeiffer & P. B. Schultz, entitled "Major Insect and Mite Pests of Grape in Virginia" (Va. Coop. Ext. Serv. 444-567 (1986))
Grape cane girdler is a small, black weevil about 3 mm long. Its damage may look alarming but is actually not too important. Adults overwinter in debris on the ground. In late May, usually before bloom, the female encircles a shoot with a series of punctures made with her mouthparts. Eggs are deposited in these holes. She then makes a similar girdle a few inches higher in the cane but without eggs. The grubs feed in the cane pith and both injured portions may break off (usually at the outer girdle first).  Larval development takes about a month.  Larvae pupate in July and adults appear in late July and August.  Development also occurs on Virginia creeper.

The damage may be seen frequently but is minor on established vines because the girdles are usually beyond the clusters. However this injury is of greater importance in new blocks because it may make training of the young vine difficult.  Growers may wish to spray for grape cane girdler when more than 10% of the shoots have been injured.   If chemical control is needed (mainly young vines), refer to recommendations for "New Shoot Spray" (PDF version of Commercial Vineyard Pest Management Guide).

If injured portions are to be pruned as a means of control, this should be done below the lower girdle before adults emerge.
See New York Fact sheet.

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