The wingspan is 12–16 mm. Front wings are dark brown or brown gray with metallic shine. There are some light stripes (7–12) near the front wing border, decreased from external border to its base. Between stripes dark touches are located, perpendicular to external border. Some dark spots and white comma-like spots are near the hind wing border. Hind wings are white yellow (brown near hind border).
The oval egg (0.75–0.8 mm) is flattened on one side. At first, it has a white color and then it becomes yellow. In the end the color turns dark. The larva reaches 14 mm long. At first it is white, then yellow with dark head and anal scutellum. It has eight lines of dark warts with hairs. Larva also has eight pairs of legs (three pairs on thorax). The body length of yellow-brown pupae varies from 5 to 7 mm. The over-wintering takes place during the phase of fifth-instar larvae, within a dense oval cocoon in the ground on fields of pea, lentil, peavine and vetch. An insignificant number of caterpillars over-winter in places where grain is dried and threshed. The insects pupate, in their cocoons, underground during the month of May. The pupae period lasts 10–18 days. The first moths appear during the period of wild vetch and pea-vine blooming. When first buds appear, the moths are found on pea. After coupling, which takes place four to seven days after emergence from the cocoon, the insects begin to lay eggs. Additional feeding on pea flowers is preferred. Moths fly in the evening; they live 10-14 days. Mass oviposition occurs at the beginning of July. The oviposition lasts 25–30 days. Pests lay eggs in groups of one, two or three (rarely four) on upper leaves (lower side), peduncle, bell, stems. Embryonic development lasts 6–10 days. Fecundity reaches 200 eggs. Hatching caterpillars penetrate into the pods and gnaw grains from above, making wide channels, ending in a hollow at one end. They soil the grain with fecal masses and cobwebs. Usually, one, rarely two or more (up to four) caterpillars are located in pods. The entire larval period (lasting 16–25 days) occurs inside one pod. The larvae have five instars, four molts. Then the insect makes a hole in the pod wall and comes out, making a cocoon in the ground. This take place when the pods become mature and the plants become dry (from the end of July and up to the first ten-day period of September). Young caterpillars (not fifth instar) that did not finish their feeding can diapause, but eventually they perish.
- "AgroAtlas - Pests - Laspeyresia nigricana Fabricius - Pea moth". www.agroatlas.ru. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
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