Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Acleris semipurpurana - Oak Leaftier Moth - Hodges#3503

Oak Leaftier Moth - Acleris semipurpurana Which Moth? - Acleris semipurpurana 3503  Oak Leaftier Moth  - Acleris semipurpurana moth - Acleris semipurpurana 3015413 tortricid - Acleris semipurpurana Acleris sp. - Acleris semipurpurana A. semipurpurana ex Quercus sp. - Acleris semipurpurana Moth - Acleris semipurpurana
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Tortricoidea (Tortricid Moths)
Family Tortricidae (Tortricid Moths)
Subfamily Tortricinae
Tribe Tortricini
Genus Acleris
Species semipurpurana (Oak Leaftier Moth - Hodges#3503)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Oak Leafshredder Moth
Oak Leaftier (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acleris semipurpurana (Kearfott, 1905)
Orig. Comb: Tortrix albicomana var. semipurpurana Kearfott 1905 (1)
Argyrotoxa semipurpurana (Kearfott)
Croesia semipurpurana (Kearfott, 1905)
Phylogenetic sequence #620003
Explanation of Names
semipurpurana (L). "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
e. NA - Map (3)(GBIF)
mostly: Apr-July (BG, GBIF, & MPG data)
Larvae feed on leaves of oak, tying some leaves together with silk and leaving others partially shredded.
Life Cycle
Overwinters as an egg on oak twigs. Larva emerges in spring. Final instar descends on silk and pupates in leaf litter beneath the tree.
Larva; pupa
The larvae are potentially serious defoliators of oaks, especially in the northeast.
See Also
Acleris albicomana (Clemens) – Red-edged Acleris Moth
Acleris curvalana (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.
Print References
Covell (2)
Kearfott, W.D. 1905. New tortricids. The Canadian Entomologist 37(1): 9 (1)
Works Cited
1.New tortricids.
William Dunham Kearfott. 1905. The Canadian Entomologist 37(1): 9-11.
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
3.Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas: Lepidoptera of Florida
J.B. Heppner. 2003. Florida Department of Agriculture 17(1): 1-670.
4.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems