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Species Acleris semipurpurana - Oak Leaftier Moth - Hodges#3503

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Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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
3503
Other Common Names
Oak Leafshredder Moth
Oak Leaftier (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acleris semipurpurana (Kearfott, 1905)
Tortrix albicomana var. semipurpurana Kearfott 1905 (1)
Synonyms
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)
Size
Wingspan 12-16 mm
Larva body length to 12 mm
Identification
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
Range
Heppner (2003) reported the range to include Quebec to Florida(3), Wisconsin to Texas(4). (5)
Season
Heppner (2003) reported March to May. (5)
Food
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.
Remarks
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.Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Florida
4.Moths of Brackenridge Field Laboratory University of Texas at Austin
5.Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas: Lepidoptera of Florida
J.B. Heppner. 2003. Florida Department of Agriculture 17(1): 1-670.
6.The Barcode of Life Database (BOLD)