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Temporal range: Eocene–Present
Bactra lancealana
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Infraorder: Heteroneura
Clade: Eulepidoptera
Clade: Ditrysia
Clade: Apoditrysia
Superfamily: Tortricoidea
Latreille, 1803
Family: Tortricidae
Latreille, 1803
Subfamilies & Tribes

See also Taxonomy of Tortricidae for full list of genera.


Over 1,050 genera
Over 10,350 species


The Tortricidae are a family of moths, commonly known as tortrix moths or leafroller moths, [1] in the order Lepidoptera. This large family has over 11,000 species described, and is the sole member of the superfamily Tortricoidea, although the genus Heliocosma is sometimes placed within this superfamily. [2] [3] Many of these are economically important pests. Olethreutidae is a junior synonym. The typical resting posture is with the wings folded back, producing a rather rounded profile.

Notable tortricids include the codling moth and the spruce budworm, which are among the most well-studied of all insects because of their economic impact. [4]


Tortricid moths are generally small, with a wingspan of 3 cm or less. [5] Many species are drab and have mottled and marbled brown colors, but some diurnal species are brightly colored and mimic other moths of the families Geometridae and Pyralidae.

Life cycle and behavior

Tortricid eggs are often flattened and scale-like.

Larvae in the subfamilies Chlidanotinae and Olethreutinae usually feed by boring into stems, roots, buds, or seeds. Larvae in the subfamily Tortricinae, however, feed externally and construct leaf rolls. Larvae in the subfamily Tortricinae tend to be more polyphagous than those in Chlidanotinae and Olethreutinae. Tortricinae also possess an anal fork for flicking excrement away from their shelters.

Some common tortricids

The tortricids include many economically important pests, including:

See also Mexican jumping bean moth ( Cydia saltitans )

A typical tortricid – the codling moth

The Tortricidae are considered to be the single most important family of insects that feed on apples, both economically and in diversity of feeding found on fruit, buds, leaves, and shoots. In New York, no fewer than seventeen species of Tortricidae have gained pest status in regards to apple production.[ citation needed ]

The codling moth Cydia pomonella causes worm-holes in apples. It has been accidentally spread from its original range in Europe and is now found in North and South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, wherever apples are grown. Control has required the use of the harshest available insecticides – historically lead arsenate and DDT were used for control. These chemicals brought considerable environmental dangers, and in any case the insect gradually developed resistance to them. Currently, organophosphate sprays are favored and are timed carefully to catch the hatching larvae before they can bore into the fruit.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Choristoneura</i> Genus of moths in the family Tortricidae

Choristoneura is a genus of moths in the family Tortricidae. Several species are serious pests of conifers, such as spruce and are known as spruce budworms.

Codling moth Species of moth that feeds on fruit (Cydia pomonella)

The codling moth is a member of the Lepidopteran family Tortricidae. They are major pests to agricultural crops, mainly fruits such as apples and pears. Because the larvae are not able to feed on leaves, they are highly dependent on fruits as a food source and thus have a significant impact on crops. The caterpillars bore into fruit and stop it from growing, which leads to premature ripening. Various means of control, including chemical, biological, and preventive, have been implemented. This moth has a widespread distribution, being found on six continents. Adaptive behavior such as diapause and multiple generations per breeding season have allowed this moth to persist even during years of bad climatic conditions.

<i>Cydia</i> (moth) Genus of tortrix moths

Cydia is a large genus of tortrix moths, belonging to the tribe Grapholitini of subfamily Olethreutinae. Its distinctness from and delimitation versus the tribe's type genus Grapholita requires further study.

Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV) is a granulovirus belonging to the family Baculoviridae. It has a double-stranded DNA genome that is 123,500 base pairs in length with 143 ORFs. The virus forms small bodies called granules containing a single virion. CpGV is a virus of invertebrates – specifically Cydia pomonella, commonly known as the Codling moth. CpGV is highly pathogenic, it is known as a fast GV – that is, one that will kill its host in the same instar as infection; thus, it is frequently used as a biological pesticide.

Tortricinae Subfamily of tortrix moths

The Tortricinae are the nominate subfamily of tortrix moths. Commonly referred to as leafrollers, as the larvae build shelters by folding or rolling leaves of the food plant, the tortricinae include several notable pests as well species used as biological control agents against invasive weeds.

<i>Choristoneura fumiferana</i> Species of moth

Choristoneura fumiferana, the eastern spruce budworm, is a species of moth of the family Tortricidae native to the eastern United States and Canada. The caterpillars feed on the needles of spruce and fir trees. Eastern spruce budworm populations can experience significant oscillations, with large outbreaks sometimes resulting in wide scale tree mortality. The first recorded outbreaks of the spruce budworm in the United States occurred in about 1807, and since 1909 there have been waves of budworm outbreaks throughout the eastern United States and Canada. In Canada, the major outbreaks occurred in periods circa 1910–20, c. 1940–50, and c. 1970–80, each of which impacted millions of hectares of forest. Longer-term tree-ring studies suggest that spruce budworm outbreaks have been recurring approximately every three decades since the 16th century, and paleoecological studies suggest the spruce budworm has been breaking out in eastern North America for thousands of years.

Archipini Tribe of moths

The Archipini are a tribe of tortrix moths. Since many genera of these are not yet assigned to tribes, the genus list presented here is provisional.

<i>Acleris variegana</i> Species of moth

Acleris variegana, the garden rose tortricid moth or fruit tortricid, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It has a Palearctic distribution. The moth flies from July to September mainly at night and is attracted to bright lights. The larvae feed on various trees and shrubs including rose and apple.

<i>Pandemis cerasana</i> Barred fruit-tree tortix moth

Pandemis cerasana, the barred fruit-tree tortrix, is a moth of the family Tortricidae.

<i>Pandemis heparana</i> Species of moth

Pandemis heparana, the dark fruit-tree tortrix or apple brown tortrix, is a moth of the family Tortricidae.

<i>Archips oporana</i> Species of moth

Archips oporana, also known as the pine tortrix or spruce tortrix is a moth of the family Tortricidae, found in Asia and Europe. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.

<i>Archips podana</i> Fruit tree tortrix moth

Archips podana, the large fruit-tree tortrix, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. The species was first described by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli in his 1763 Entomologia Carniolica. It is found in Europe, Asia from Anatolia to Japan and is an introduced species in North America.

Pheromone trap Type of insect trap that uses pheromones to lure insects

A pheromone trap is a type of insect trap that uses pheromones to lure insects. Sex pheromones and aggregating pheromones are the most common types used. A pheromone-impregnated lure, as the red rubber septa in the picture, is encased in a conventional trap such as a bottle trap, Delta trap, water-pan trap, or funnel trap. Pheromone traps are used both to count insect populations by sampling, and to trap pests such as clothes moths to destroy them.

<i>Grapholita</i> Genus of tortrix moths

Grapholita is a large genus of tortrix moths. It belongs to subfamily Olethreutinae, and therein to the tribe Grapholitini, of which it is the type genus.

<i>Ditula angustiorana</i> Species of moth

Ditula angustiorana, the red-barred tortrix, is a moth of the family Tortricidae found in Africa, Asia, Europe and North Africa. Other common names are the fruit-tree tortrix and the vine tortrix. The moth was first described by Adrian Hardy Haworth in 1811.

<i>Cydia duplicana</i> Species of moth

Cydia duplicana is a small moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in all across Europe, extending barely into Asia in the Transcaucasus, Turkestan and Kazakhstan.

<i>Grapholita molesta</i> Oriental fruit moth

Grapholita molesta, the oriental fruit moth or peach moth, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It is native to China, but was introduced to Japan and North America and is now also found throughout of Europe, Asia and South America and in Hawaii, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand

<i>Pandemis corylana</i> Species of moth

Pandemis corylana, the chequered fruit-tree tortrix, hazel tortrix moth, filbert tortricid or barred fruit tree moth, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found from northern and central Europe to Siberia, Korea and Japan.

<i>Grapholita lobarzewskii</i> Species of moth

Grapholita lobarzewskii, the appleseed moth, small fruit tortrix or smaller fruit tortrix moth, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It was described by Maksymilian Nowicki in 1860. It is found in large parts of Europe, except Norway, Sweden, the Iberian Peninsula and most of the Balkan Peninsula.


  1. McLeod, Robin (December 31, 2019). "Family Tortricidae - Tortricid Moths". BugGuide. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  2. van Nieukerken; et al. (2011). "Order Lepidoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness" (PDF). Zootaxa. 3148: 212–221. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3148.1.41.
  3. "Tracking our Taxonomic Progress" (PDF). Torts. Newsletter of the Troop of Reputed Tortricid Systematists (Vol 20, part 1). 8 January 2019. p. 12-13.
  4. Brown, John W. (2005-01-01). Tortricidae (Lepidoptera). Apollo Books. ISBN   9788788757415.
  5. Hanson, Paul E. (04-11-2018). Insects and Other Arthropods of Tropical America. Cornell University Press. ISBN   978-0-8014-5694-7

Further reading