Light Brown Apple Moth

Epiphyas postvittana

Light Brown Apple Moth, Apple Leafroller , Australian Leafroller

1 of 4
A close up photograph of a Epiphyas postvittana light brown apple moth against a green background
1 of 4
The Light Brown Apple Moth is an insect belonging to the insect family containing the tortrix moths (Tortricidae). The moths in this family aren't typically pests but this particular species can cause some trouble in gardens and glasshouse. It originates in Australia, so was probably introduced to the UK by accident. The caterpillars feeding behaviour causes the leaves of apple (and in some cases grapes and berries) to start rolling inwards from the margins. The caterpillars use these leaves to create a shelter that conceals them whilst they feed and develop, for this reason, they can sometimes go unnoticed. Young caterpillars will eat the leaf tissue on the undersides of leaves whilst the older larvae construct additional feeding areas using a leaf and fruit or developing buds. Recordings of this insect exist across California and Florida so far.

Traits

These insects can damage fruits of apple, grapes and some berry plants.
Moths and caterpillars are eaten by an array of garden wildlife. If found, caterpillars can be fed to the birds.

Appearance

The adult moth is small, the wingspan reaching as far as 2.5cm but can be as little as 1.4cm. The wings are distinctively curved, the top half is a light brown whereas the remaining area a darker shade of brown. Tip: The wings lack banding as seen in the carnation tortrix moth. Larvae look like small green caterpillars, however, they are normally concealed by silk and leaves.

Symptoms

Leaves and buds may become enclosed in silk and eaten by the caterpillars. New buds may be penetrated, and petals stuck together and closed with silk. Leaves may start to look brown and crooked. Sometimes caterpillars can bore into fruits.

Activity

Crepuscular

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Tortricidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Australia, New Zealand and the British Isles. Some parts of North America.

Biological treatment

It's advised that plants can tolerate light damage by these caterpillars. By squeezing bound leaves you can squash the caterpillars and pupae.

Chemical treatment

For heavier infestations, control may be achieved with pyrethroid sprays such as deltamethrin and fenvalerate. Sprays containing these chemicals can sometimes remain active (toxic) within soil media for years, so please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Plants that are in flower should never be sprayed due to the danger they pose to pollinating insects.

Attracts

There are about 100 species that this moth will readily use as a food plant, but Dianthus spp. seems to be most severely affected.

Be the first to download the app

Help us build a place where community meets knowledge. Try it out and let us know what you think.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

What is Candide?

Candide has everything for plant lovers – buy plants from independent sellers and book tickets to visit inspiring gardens near you. Identify plants in seconds from a single photo and learn how to care for them with our in-depth guides.

OUR APP

Learn how to care for your plants and share your growing successes on Candide’s free app for your phone or tablet.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Germinated in Bristol © 2021 Candide