Last updated

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
Type species
Phalaena viridana
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 10,350 species described, and is the sole member of the superfamily Tortricoidea, [2] although the genus Heliocosma is sometimes placed within this superfamily. 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. [3]


Tortricid moths are generally small, with a wingspan of 3 cm or less. [4] 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

Codling moth species of insect

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.

Light brown apple moth species of insect

The light brown apple moth is a leafroller moth belonging to the lepidopteran family Tortricidae.

<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.

Archipini tribe of insects

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 insect

Acleris variegana, the garden rose tortricid moth or fruit tortricid, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It has a Palaearctic 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 heparana</i> species of insect

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

<i>Archips oporana</i> species of insect

Archips oporana is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in Europe, China, Korea, Japan and Russia (Primorye).

<i>Archips xylosteana</i> species of moth

Archips xylosteana, the variegated golden tortrix or brown oak tortrix, is a moth of the family Tortricidae.

<i>Archips rosana</i> species of insect

Archips rosana, the rose tortrix, is a moth of the family Tortricidae. It is found in both the Palearctic and Nearctic realms.

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>Archips</i> Genus of tortrix moths

Archips is a genus of tortrix moths the tribe Archipini. Species include the oak leaf roller, and other notorious pests.

<i>Archips semiferanus</i> species of insect

Archips semiferanus is a species of moth in the family Tortricidae, and one of several species of moth commonly known as oak leafroller or oak leaf roller. The larvae feed on the leaves of oak trees in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada and are a major defoliator of oak trees, which can lead to tree mortality. In Pennsylvania in the late 1960s and early 1970s, oak leafrollers defoliated over 1,045,000 acres (423,000 ha).

<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>Cydia duplicana</i> species of insect

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.

Capua vulgana Species of moth

Capua vulgana is a moth of the family Tortricidae.

<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.
  3. Brown, John W. (2005-01-01). Tortricidae (Lepidoptera). Apollo Books. ISBN   9788788757415.
  4. Hanson, Paul E. (04-11-2018). Insects and Other Arthropods of Tropical America. Cornell University Press. ISBN   978-0-8014-5694-7

Further reading