FWL: 6.0-10.2mm (M); 8.5-11.7mm (F)
Forewing color is a variable combination of reddish brown, dark brown, and tan. The majority of specimens have two contrasting triangular to semi-rectangular pale tan patches on the costa. Females are generally lighter in color than males. Males have a forewing costal fold.
Last instar larvae are translucent green with a reddish-brown to dark brown mottled head and an amber prothoracic shield with brown lateral edging. The prothoracic legs are brown or black while the other thoracic legs are pale and unmarked.
Related or similar species
Adults may be confused with other Archips species (especially A. semiferanus and A. negundanus) but are unlikely to be confused with other species covered here.
Mature argyrospila larvae may be confused with Choristoneura rosaceana larvae.
This species completes a single generation per year. Adults are present from mid-May through July.
Eggs are laid in masses on the twigs of the host and covered by the female with a substance that hardens to create a smooth, hard surface. Eggs are laid in June and July and do not hatch until the following year. First instar larvae hatch in late Februrary to mid-May and bore into buds. Later instars roll or tie leaves together or to fruit and partially emerge from the shelter to feed. Larvae may feed on leaves, flowers, buds, or fruits of the host. Pupation occurs within the larval shelter and adults eclose in 10-12 days. The adult flight period lasts approximately 3 weeks.
During the first half of the 20th century outbreaks of argyrospila would completely defoliate large areas of vegitation. The species was brought under control with the introduction of pesticides in the mid-1950's.
Archips argyrospila has been recorded from a long list of plants, many of which are not primary hosts. Under outbreak conditions the larvae feed on any plant near the primary host, and the following partial host list contains both primary and incidental hosts: alfalfa (Medicago sp.), apple (Malus sp.), apricot, cherry, peach, and plum (Prunus sp.), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), beans (Phaseolus sp.), blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), birch (Betula sp.), boxelder (Acer negundo), buckeye (Aesculus sp.), Ceanothus sp., Cercocarpus sp., Citrus sp., oak (Quercus sp.), Eriodictyon sp., grape (Vitis sp.), hawthorn (Crataegus sp.), hickory (Carya sp.), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), hop (Humulus sp.), lilac (Syringa sp.), oat (Avena sp.), onion (Allium sp.), osage orange (Maclura pomifera), pear (Pyrus sp.), rhubarb (Rheum sp.), sassafras (Sassafras sp.), and walnut (Juglans sp.).
Area of origin
Continental United States and southern Canada
Current valid name
Archips argyrospila (Walker)
- fruit-tree leaf roller
- apple leaf roller
- Cacoecia argyrospila, C. columbiana, C. vividana
- Retinia argyrospila
- Tortrix argyrospila, T. furvana, T. vsignatana
Chapman, P. J. and S. E. Lienk. 1971. Tortricid fauna of apple in New York (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae); including an account of apple's occurrence in the state, especially as a naturalized plant. Spec. Publ. Geneva, NY: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. 122 pp.
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.
Figures 5-9 used with permission from University of California Statewide IPM Program. Please visit the UC IPM Web Site for more information.