FWL: 8.5-11.0 mm
Forewings are pale yellow with variable brown to yellowish-brown markings that may be suffused with bluish-gray scales. Most individuals have a large dark-brown patch in the area of the median fascia that is not continuous to the costa. Males have a forewing costal fold. The male uncus is short, broad at the base, and is not spatulate like that of many other Clepsis species. Females have a long cestum and a signum is present in the corpus bursae.
Well marked individuals are unlikely to be confused with any other Nearctic Clepsis. A genitalic dissection can be used to confirm identity.
Last instar larvae are 14-19 mm in length with a pale green abdomen. Pinacula are lighter than body color with dark setae. The head is yellowish brown, the prothoracic shield is pale green with dark shading on the posterolateral corners, and the thoracic legs are pale.
Clepsis melaleucanus completes a single generation per year. Adults are present in June and July.
Chapman and Lienk (1971) observed last instar larvae feeding on low growth of various plants in May and June. They speculate that overwintering occurs as a late instar larva in the ground cover.
Although its primary host(s) are unknown, larvae of Clepsis melaleucanus have been recorded feeding on the following plants:
|Family ||Genus/species ||Common name|
|Berberidaceae ||Caulophyllum Michx. ||cohosh|
|Betulaceae ||Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC. ||green alder|
|Betulaceae ||Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC. ssp. crispa (Aiton) Turrill ||mountain alder|
|Betulaceae ||Betula L. ||birch|
|Ericaceae ||Pyrola L. ||wintergreen|
|Hamamelidaceae ||Hamamelis L. ||witchhazel|
|Liliaceae ||Polygonatum Mill. ||Solomon's seal|
|Liliaceae ||Trillium L. ||trillium|
|Rosaceae ||Spiraea L. ||meadowsweet|
Clepsis melaleucanus is distributed from the northeastern United States and southern Canada west to Minnesota and Manitoba and south to North Carolina. It has been documented from England but is currently not established outside of North America.
Bradley, J. D., W. G. Tremewan and A. Smith. 1973. British Tortricoid Moths - Cochylidae and Tortricidae: Tortricinae. The Ray Society, London, England.
Chapman, P. J. and S. E. Lienk. 1971. Tortricid fauna of apple in New York (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae); including an account of apple's occurrence in the state, especially as a naturalized plant. Spec. Publ. Geneva, NY: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. 122 pp.
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.
Razwoski, J. 1979. Revision of the genus Clepsis Guenee (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae). Part I. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia. 23: 101-198.