Clepsis spectrana Treitschke Strawcoloured tortrix moth

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This widespread moth is a pest of various glasshouse plants; infestations also occur on various outdoor crops, including black currant, rhubarb and strawberry. The larvae cause considerable leaf damage, especially to the younger shoots, and also attack buds and flowers.


Moths occur in two main generations, from June to July and from August to September. Eggs are deposited in small groups on the leaves of host plants and they hatch 2-3 weeks later. Larvae inhabit webbed leaves and may also spin the petals of flowers together to form shelters. When

Fig. 287 Female straw-coloured tortrix moth, Clepsis spectrana (x6).

Fig. 287 Female straw-coloured tortrix moth, Clepsis spectrana (x6).

Fig. 288 Forewings of Cnephasia: (a) flax tortrix moth, C. asseclana: (b) light grey tortrix moth, C. incertana (x6).

fully grown, each pupates in its habitation or amongst dead leaves. Adults emerge 2-3 weeks later. Second-generation larvae usually overwinter whilst still very small and complete their development in the spring. In glasshouses, development may be continuous.


Adult 15-24 mm wingspan; forewings pale ochre-ous-yellow to yellowish, with dark brown to blackish markings; hindwings pale grey (Fig. 287). Egg orange, flat and oval. Larva up to 25 mm long; body greyish-green to brownish, but paler dorsally; pinacula whitish; head and prothoracic plate black or blackish-brown; anal plate whitish-brown, with darker markings; anal comb with six to eight teeth. Pupa 10-14 mm long, dull black; cremaster elongate, with stout hooked spines (Fig. 283c).

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