An invasive species that feed on plants in the carrot family has been discovered in Montgomery, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The purple-carrot seed moth was first found by a resident near Stillwater on their dill plants. A second report came from Montgomery a few days later. Identification has been confirmed by the University of Wisconsin.
The insect is native to Western Europe, Russia, and China and feeds on plants such as dill, fennel, and coriander. It was first discovered in North America in 2008.
Purple carrot-seed caterpillars are dark and distinctive and can be green or reddish with many white spots on their bodies. The caterpillars feed on the flowers but they also tie the floral parts with webbing and can make herbs like dill unusable.
The MDA is asking residents to report suspected purple carrot-seed moths in order to get a better understanding of where the insect might be in the state. Reports should be accompanied by clear photos.