Forewing pattern is variable. Powell (1964) lists three distinct phenotypes found in California: 1) forewing white on inner half with a dark dorsal triangle, outer half dark purplish; 2) forewing divided into white basal and blue-black or purplish distal area; 3) forewing ground color tan with a basal dorsal triangle and purplish outer costal triangle. Males lack a forewing costal fold.
Related or similar species
Acleris variegana may appear similar to other Acleris species due to its highly variable forewing pattern.
This species completes two generations per year in California. Adults are present from mid-June through late July and again from mid-September through November.
Eggs are laid singly or in pairs. Early instar larvae tie together two leaves and skeletonize them from the inside; later instars consume the entire leaf. Pupation occurs in the larval shelter. Both adults and larvae overwinter.
Larvae feed on members of the Rosaceae in California, including: apple (Malus sp.), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.), firethorn (Pyracantha sp.), hawthorn (Crataegus sp.), pear (Pyrus communis); rose (Rosa sp.), and sweet cherry (Prunus avium).
Area of origin
Palearctic. England and northwest Africa through Europe, central Asia, and China. First reported from North America in the early 1920's.
Current valid name
Acleris variegana (Denis & Schiffermuller)
- garden rose tortrix moth
- Peronea albana, P. cirrana, P. costimaculana, P. costimaculana, P. variegana
- Pyralis asperana
- Teras aspersana, T. nycthemerana
- Tortrix blandiana, T. insignata, T. nyctemerana, T. osbeckiana, T. variegana
- Forms and aberrations: alpicolana, argentana, asperana, brunneana, caeruleoatrana, fuscana, uniformis
Powell, J. A. 1964. Biological and taxonomic studies on tortricine moths, with reference to the species in California. University of California Publications in Entomology. Vol. 32. 317 pp.