I often come across this Tortrix moth on spring or summer evenings as it flitters about my garden, particularly around my small Crab Apple tree. It is a very variable species, ranging from quite plain to dark patterned. Forewing length 7 to 12mm.
Flies May to October in two generations, and seen in all places. This Naturalised Australian moth was first recorded in Cornwall in the 1930s. Abundant and expanding its range north.
The caterpillars are polyphagus, where they will eat any vegetation, and may be a serious pest in fruit orchards.
Photographs of Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), taken May 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
About this family of moths: Tortricidae – Tortrix Moths
This is the largest and most diverse group of microlepidoptera with over 6,000 species worldwide, and up to 399 species in Britain belonging to the superfamily Tortricoidea. The caterpillars of these Tortrix moths live in rolled-up leaves or flowers held together with silken threads, hence they are known as “leafrollers”. This way they feed safely protected from predators. Some of these are considered serious pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, causing major damage to a wide variety of crops, including fruit of all kinds, tea and coffee, cereals and cotton. The Colding Moth, by example, causes serious damage to apples and pears, the larvae boring into and eating the fruit.
There are 3 subfamilies called Chlidanotinae, Tortricinae, and Olethreutinae under Tortricidae.