Forewings are straw yellow, narrow, and unmarked, although females may have a faint reticulate pattern. The termen is steeply angled creating an apex that is nearly falcate in some individuals. Hindwings are primarily white. Males have a forewing costal fold.
Related or similar species
Xenotemna pallorana is similar but can be distinguished from clemensiana based on the following characters: pallorana males do not have a forewing costal fold, the hindwings are not white, and the forewing termen is rounded. Genitalia of the two species are different.
Clepsis clemensiana completes two annual generations in California. Adults are present in June through September.
Larvae feed and pupate in silk tubes constructed on grass blades.
Larvae feed primarily on grasses (Poaceae). This species has also been recorded from aster (Aster, Symphyotrichum sp.), dogbane (Apocynum sp.), and goldenrod (Solidago sp.).
Area of origin
Northeastern United States and southern Canada, west to British Columbia, south to northern Utah
Current valid name
Clepsis clemensiana (Fernald)
- Clemens' clepsis moth
- Tortrix clemensiana
- Archips clemensiana
- Tortrix nervosana
Freeman, T. N. 1958. The Archipinae of North America (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The Canadian Entomologist. 90 (suppl. 7). 89 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.