Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acleris semipurpurana (Kearfott, 1905)
Kearfott 1905 (1)
Argyrotoxa semipurpurana (Kearfott)
Croesia semipurpurana (Kearfott, 1905)
Phylogenetic sequence #620003
Explanation of Names
Specific epithet is Latin meaning "semi-purple," for the "large purplish-brown spot ... that covers all the wing, except a narrow line along costa."(1)
Wingspan 12-16 mm
Larva body length to 12 mm
Adult: forewing bright yellow with large brown blotch in the center, dusted with metallic gray scales.(2)
One or more darker spots within the brown blotch just above the midpoint on each side are apparent in several images. Adult color and pattern variable; individuals are best distinguished from the very similar Blueberry Leaftier by association with the larval foodplant (see "See Also" section below).
Larva: body dirty white to light green; head pale brown with black bar on lower side of head or cheek area (a diagnostic character); front legs black to brown
Heppner (2003) reported the range to include Quebec to Florida(3)
, Wisconsin to Texas(4)
Heppner (2003) reported March to May. (5)
Larvae feed on leaves of oak, tying some leaves together with silk and leaving others partially shredded.
Overwinters as an egg on oak twigs. Larva emerges in spring. Final instar descends on silk and pupates in leaf litter beneath the tree.
The larvae are potentially serious defoliators of oaks, especially in the northeast.
(Clemens) – Red-edged Acleris Moth
(Kearfott) – Blueberry Leaftier Moth
Acleris [=Croesia] curvalana (Blueberry Leaftier) adult is very similar and equally variable [there is more variation among individuals of each species than between the two species]. Both species have virtually the same geographic distribution, but larvae of semipurpurana feed on oak, whereas larvae of curvalana feed on blueberry, so association with - or proximity to - the hostplant is the best way to distinguish these two species.
Kearfott, W.D. 1905. New tortricids. The Canadian Entomologist
37(1): 9 (1)