KEYS    About TortAI    Fact Sheets    Glossary    ID Thumbnails    DNA Search    Dissection Guides

Port Interception Target - Larva

Planotortrix excessana (Walker) complex (Tortricidae: Tortricinae: Archipini)

Common names: greenheaded leafroller

Synonyms: biguttana (Teras)

Fig. 1: Male

Fig. 1: Male

Fig. 2: Male

Fig. 2: Male

Fig. 3: Female

Fig. 3: Female

Fig. 4: Male genitalia

Fig. 4: Male genitalia

Fig. 5: Female genitalia

Fig. 5: Female genitalia

Adult Recognition

FWL: 8.0-12.0 mm (male); 10.0-14.5 mm (female)

Forewings are pale orange brown to dark reddish brown. Males are generally darker than females. Most individuals lack prominent wing markings except for a dark spot in the distal one-third of the forewing. Some individuals have a series of faint dark spots covering the wing and/or a a white or pale spot in the basal one-third of the wing. Males have a forewing costal fold. There are at least two pheromonally distinct races assigned to the P. excessana complex which may represent distinct species.

Adults are similar to other Planotortrix and the various species may be difficult to separate, even with a genitalic dissection. Dugdale et al. (2005) provide descriptions and illustrations for P. notophaea and P. octo in addition to P. excessana. Langhoff et al. (2009) used DNA barcodes to distinguish different species of Ctenopseustis and Planotortrix.

Larval Morphology

Last instar larvae are approximately 25 mm long and entirely green. The head is transparent light brown to green and may have faint brown mottling. The prothoracic shield is pale green with no lateral shading. An anal comb is present with 10-12 teeth.

Larvae of P. excessana are occasionally intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on Fragaria, Malus, or Prunus originating in New Zealand.


Planotortrix excessana completes 2-3 generations per year. On the South Island of New Zealand, adults are present February-March, April-May, and October-December.

Females lay eggs in masses that contain an average of 54 individual eggs. Egg masses of P. excessana have an opaque coating while those of P. octo are coated with white "particles." Early instars construct a silk shelter on the underside of leaves. Later instars web leaves together or web leaves to fruit and may cause economic damage by feeding directly on the surface of fruit. Pupation occurs in the larval shelter. 

Host plants

Larvae of P. excessana have been reported feeding on more than 100 species of plants; a partial host list is presented below. This species is a pest of strawberries, stone fruits, and walnuts in New Zealand. Larvae of P. excessana are occasionally intercepted at U.S. ports of entry on Fragaria, Malus, or Prunus originating in New Zealand.

Family Genus/species Common name
Araliaceae Pseudopanax arboreus K. Koch
Asteraceae Chrysanthemum L. daisy
Cornocarpaceae Corynocarpus laevigata Forst. New Zealand laurel
Cupressaceae Cupressus sempervirens L. Italian cypress
Ebenaceae Diospyros kaki L. f. Japanese persimmon
Grossulariaceae Ribes nigrum L. European black currant
Onagraceae Fuchsia L. fuchsia
Pinaceae Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don f. Deodar cedar
Pittosporaceae Pittosporum crassifolium Banks & Sol. ex A. Cunn. stiffleaf cheesewood
Rosaceae Fragaria L. strawberry
Rosaceae Malus domestica Borkh. apple
Rosaceae Prunus armeniaca L. apricot
Rosaceae Prunus L. cherry
Rosaceae Prunus L. [unspecified]
Rosaceae Prunus persica (L.) Batsch peach
Rosaceae Rosa L. rose
Rosaceae Rubus L. blackberry
Rutaceae Citrus L. citrus
Salicaceae Salix L. willow
Theaceae Camellia japonica L. camellia
Vitaceae Vitis vinifera L. wine grape


Planotortrix excessana is native to New Zealand where it is present on both the North and South Islands. It has been artificially introduced to Hawaii.


Baker, R. T. and H. B. Dick. 1981. Leafrollers (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in a strawberry crop in Horowhenua: abundance and control. New Zealand Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 9: 377-381.

Dugdale, J. S., D. Gleeson, L. H. Clunie and P. W. Holder. 2005. A diagnostic guide to Tortricidae encountered in field surveys and quarantine inspections in New Zealand: Morphological and molecular characters. National Plant Pest Reference Laboratory. 161 pp.

Langhoff, P., A. Authier, T. R. Buckley, J. S. Dugdale, A. Rodrigo and R. D. Newcomb. 2009. DNA barcoding of the endemic New Zealand leafroller moth genera, Ctenopseustis and Planotortrix. Molecular Ecology Resources. 9: 691-698.

Thomas, W. P. 1979. Greenheaded leafroller, Planotortrix excessana (Walker). HortFACT. The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd. [accessed 4 Oct 2011].

Wearing C. H., W. P. Thomas, J. W. Dugdale and W. Danthanarayana. 1991. Tortricid pests of pome and stonefruits, Australian and New Zealand species., pp. 453-472.  In L. P. S. van der Geest and H. H. Evenhius [eds.], Tortricid Pests: Their Biology, Natural Enemies, and Control. World Crop Pests, Vol. 5. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Tortricids of Agricultural Importance by Todd M. Gilligan and Marc E. Epstein
Interactive Keys developed in Lucid 3.5. Last updated August 2014.