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CAPS Non-target - Adult

Clepsis clemensiana (Fernald) (Tortricidae: Tortricinae: Archipini)

Synonyms: nervosana (Tortrix)

Fig. 1: Male

Fig. 1: Male

Fig. 2: Female

Fig. 2: Female

Fig. 3: Male genitalia

Fig. 3: Male genitalia

Fig. 4: Female genitalia

Fig. 4: Female genitalia

Adult Recognition

FWL: 9.5-11.5 mm

Forewings are straw yellow, narrow, and unmarked, although some females may have a faint reticulate pattern. The termen is steeply angled creating an apex that is nearly falcate in some individuals. Hindwings are primarily white. Males have a forewing costal fold.

Xenotemna pallorana is similar but can be distinguished from C. clemensiana by the lack of a forewing costal fold, a rounded termen on the forewing, and brownish or shaded hindwings. Genitalia of these two species are different and a dissection can be used to confirm identity.

Larval Morphology

Late instar larvae are approximately 10 mm in length. The head and prothoracic shield are yellowish brown. Pinacula are large and conspicuous. An anal comb is present.


Clepsis clemensiana completes one or two annual generations. Adults are present in June and July and again in September for the second generation.

Larvae feed on leaves of the host plants. Pupation occurs in a silk tube.

Host plants

Grasses (Poaceae) are considered to be the primary host for Clepsis clemensiana, although the larvae have been reported feeding on plants in several other families.

Family Genus/species Common name
Apocynaceae Apocynum L. dogbane
Asteraceae Aster L. aster
Asteraceae Solidago L. goldenrod
Asteraceae Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (L.) G. L. Nesom New England aster
Poaceae Phleum pratense L. timothy
Poaceae Triticum aestivum L. common wheat
Poaceae [unspecified]
Rosaceae Malus Mill. apple


Clepsis clemensiana is widely distributed from the Northeast west to British Columbia, south to northern Utah, Missouri, and Kentucky.


Freeman, T. N. 1958. The Archipinae of North America (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The Canadian Entomologist Supplement 7 (Vol. 90): 1-89.

MacKay, M. R. 1962. Larvae of the North American Tortricinae (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The Canadian Entomologist Supplement 28: 1-182.

Powell, J. A. 1964. Biological and taxonomic studies on tortricine moths, with reference to the species in California. University of California Publications in Entomology. Vol. 32. 317 pp.

Powell, J. A. and P. A. Opler. 2009. Moths of western North America. University of California Press, Berkeley. 369 pp.

Razwoski, J. 1979. Revision of the genus Clepsis Guenee (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae). Part I. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia. 23: 101-198.

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