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Pandemis pyrusana “Pandemis Leafroller Moth” Tortricidae

Clinton, MT
July 25, 2015
Robert Niese

Pandemis leafrollers are common in the west and are considered a pest on commercial apple, cherry, plum, and pear trees. As larvae, they roll up the sides of leaves into a tube along the mid-vein creating a shelter from predators. Larvae born early in the summer will pupate inside these shelters, but late summer larvae overwinter under bark before emerging to feed on fresh buds in the early spring. In addition to feeding on commercial fruit trees, this species is also known to chow down on alder (Alnus), willow (Salix), birch (Betula), dogwood (Cornus), aspen (Populus tremuloides), currants (Ribes), roses (Rosa), and honeysuckle (Lonicera), all of which are very common here in western Montana.

Phaneta infimbriana “Silver-spotted Wormwood Moth” Tortricidae

Clinton, MT
July 25, 2015
Robert Niese

These dainty Tortricids are found throughout the Northwest between July and August. As larvae they feed primarily on plants in the family Asteraceae, particularly members of the genus Artemisia, which includes sagebrush, tarragon, and wormwoods. According to the Tortricidae foodplant database, the larvae of this species have only ever been recorded on Artemisia ludoviciana which is a very common weedy species in all our open, semi-dry habitats here in the PNW.

Agapeta zoegana “Sulphur Knapweed Moth” Tortricidae

August 14, 2014
Missoula, MT
Robert Niese

These diminutive moths (10mm in length) are obligate parasites of our invasive knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) and were introduced in 1984 as a potential biological control agent.

Happy National Moth Week!

Cydia pomonella “Codling Moth” Tortricidae

Missoula, MT
July 20, 2015
Robert Niese

Codling Moths are perhaps the most infamous moths in the world. They are found everywhere there are apple trees. In fact, these moths are so widespread that no one is quite sure where they came from, although it’s likely they evolved in Eurasia with the apple tree. Females lay their eggs on apple trees and the larvae hatch and immediately burrow into the fruit where they consume the flesh and seeds. The moths are controlled through various means of suppression including pheromone traps that catch males searching for females, trunk banding that captures larvae as they leave the tree to pupate, and releasing Trichogramma parasitic wasps to kill eggs. But the most common form of control is through the application of Codling Moth Granulosis Virus which kills larvae a few days after hatching.

Happy National Moth Week!

Agapeta zoegana “Sulphur Knapweed Moth” Tortricidae

August 14, 2014
Missoula, MT
Robert Niese

These diminutive moths (10mm in length) are obligate parasites of our invasive knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) and were introduced in 1984 as a potential biological control agent.

Happy National Moth Week!

Choristoneura rosaceana “Oblique-banded Tortrix Leafroller” Tortricidae

Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA
July 22, 2013
Robert Niese

The larva of these inconspicuous moths are significant pests on apples (and many other rosaceous plants) where they voraciously consume both fruits and leaves. Larval leafrollers, as their name suggests, roll-up the leaves of their host plants and hide inside the rolled-up tube for protection from parasites and predators. Learn more about this species at the Colorado State University’s interactive webpage on Tortricids of Agricultural Importance.

Happy National Moth Week!

Agapeta zoegana “Sulphur Knapweed Moth” Tortricidae

August 14, 2014
Missoula, MT
Robert Niese

These diminutive moths (10mm in length) are obligate parasites of our invasive knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) and were introduced in 1984 as a potential biological control agent.