Lepidoptera The Tortrices Moth

This is a large group of moths, deriving their name from the peculiar habit of a number of the larva of twisting or rolling up leaves for their protection. This habit, however, is not common to all, for some feed on stems and flowers, and others devour seeds and fruits.

The perfect insects may easily be known by the shape of the wings. The fore pair are gracefully curved on the costal margin in such a way that, when the insect is at rest with its wings closed, its outline is much the shape of a bell.

The identification of the various species of this extensive group is no easy task, for many of them are so variable in their colouring that insects of the same species are often very different from each other. So puzzling indeed is this tendency to run into varieties that many insects, once considered to belong to separate species, have been reduced to one; and this has been the case in a number of instances.

There are so many of these little moths that we cannot even give a representative of each family, but the following outline will serve to show the extensiveness of the group.

  • Family 1. Tortricida, about sixty species.
  •  ”  2. Penthinida, ” twenty ”
  •  ”  3. Spilonotida, ” twelve ”
  •  ”  4. Sericorida,  ” twenty-seven species.
  •  ”  5. Sciaphilida, ” twenty-four  ”
  •  ”  6. Grapholithida, about one hundred and fifty species.
  •  ”  7. Pyraloidida, four species.
  •  ”  8. Conchylida, about fifty species.
  •  ”  9. Apheliida, three species.

We shall now briefly examine a few of the commonest insects of the group.