Gray Tortricid Moth

2016 April 20

I’ve put off posting this tortricid moth from May 18, 2015 because I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to narrow it down very far. It has one of the common Tortricidae body shapes, but this is a very speciose family, and the lack of distinct color features was not very promising. Incidentally, it looks kind of blurry in this picture, not because it was out of focus, but because it actually looks blurry in real life.


The discreet gray banding on the wings was about all there was to go on.


The closest I’ve found are certain moths in the Acleris genus, and a few others in the Apotomis genus. The caterpillars of these moths are leaf-rollers/tiers, but of what plants I don’t know. As a spring moth, I expect that it overwintered as a pupa inside of a rolled-up leaf somewhere.

2 Responses
  1. April 21, 2016

    Is there blurring of species lines because of cross-breeding? One would think that pheromones might not differ much between species.

  2. April 21, 2016

    I expect that there is a lot of blurring between species, yes. Actually establishing whether it is a species or not would need someone to actually track specimens to see if they are “reproductively isolated” or not. Honestly, I’ve always been a bit suspicious about a lot of species designations, and I think it is more of a gradual continuum from varieties to species. For example, I’m pretty sure that if you found some biologists who somehow didn’t know about dogs, and presented them with a Great Dane and a Yorkshire terrier, they would most likely classify them as different species.

    And on that note, here’s a discussion that kind of suggests that there might, maybe, be different dog species already.

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