FWL: 4.5-7.5 mm
Forewing color is tan to brown. Males have a brown to dark-brown well-defined median fascia that is continuous from costa to dorsum and a dark-brown costal spot. Females have similar markings but the median fascia and costal spot are usually less distinct. Males lack a forewing costal fold.
Male genitalia are characterized by a single short, thin cornutus in the aedeagus and a membranous apex on the valva. Females have a ductus bursae that is spiraled or tightly coiled and lack a signum in the corpus bursae.
Clepsis fucana, C. penetralis, C. peritana, and C. virescana are all similar in appearance. Clepsis fucana is generally larger than the other three species and is found only on the West Coast. Clepsis penetralis has only been recorded from Colorado, Utah, and Vermont, although it may be misidentified in collections making its true distribution unknown. Clepsis peritana is the most commonly collected Clepsis, and it can be found throughout the United States and southern Canada. Clepsis virescana is larger and more boreal than C. peritana and it is not present in the Southeast. The following table lists diagnostic features that can be used to separate these four Clepsis species:
|Clepsis species ||FWL ||Male forewing costal fold ||Male valva membranous lobe ||Female ductus bursae ||Female signum ||Distribution|
|fucana ||6.5-10.5 mm ||absent ||present as small lobe ||straight ||absent ||West Coast|
|penetralis ||6.0-7.5 mm ||absent ||present as moderate lobe ||weakly twisted ||absent ||Unknown; recorded from Colorado, Utah, and Vermont|
|peritana ||4.5-7.5 mm ||absent ||absent; entire apex is membranous ||tightly coiled ||absent ||United States and southern Canada|
|virescana ||6.0-9.0 mm ||present ||present as small lobe ||straight ||present ||United States and southern Canada; not present in the Southeast|
Last instar larvae are approximately 13-14 mm in length with a light green abdomen, but body color can vary depending on the host plant. The head and prothoracic shield are yellowish brown. An anal comb is present.
Clepsis peritana completes several generations per year. The exact number of generations varies from 2-4 in the North to 6-7 in the South, and in some locations adults are present most of the year.
Eggs are deposited in small masses of approximately 10-20 individual eggs. Larvae live in silk tubes built on the surface of leaves and feed on dead or decaying leaf litter. Larvae will occasionally feed in the buds or fruits of living plants. On strawberry, larvae may cause damage to fruit in contact with the ground by webbing leaves to the fruit and chewing holes in the berries. In citrus groves, larvae feed on decaying leaves until population levels are high, at which point they may switch to feeding on fruit. Significant damage to citrus is caused only when fruit is close to the ground or has dropped from the tree.
Clepsis peritana is known in the economic literature as a pest of strawberry (Fragaria sp.) and Citrus. Larvae prefer to feed on dead or decaying leaves and have also been reared from fungus. As its wide distribution would suggest, this species is probably a generalist feeder on a large number of plants. The following is a list of confirmed hosts.
|Family ||Genus/species ||Common name|
|Asteraceae ||Chrysanthemum L. ||daisy|
|Asteraceae ||Cynara cardunculus L. ||cardoon|
|Asteraceae ||Senecio jacobaea L. ||stinking willie|
|Lamiaceae ||Stachys L. ||hedgenettle|
|Rosaceae ||Fragaria L. ||strawberry|
|Rutaceae ||Citrus L. ||citrus|
|Scrophulariaceae ||Scrophularia californica Cham. & Schltdl. ||California figwort|
|Solanaceae ||Solanum torvum Sw. ||turkey berry|
Clepsis peritana is widely distributed in southern Canada and the continental United States. This is one of the most common and widespread tortricid species in North America. It has been introduced into Denmark where it is reported to be established.
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 II. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia. 24: 113-152.
Razowski, J. 2002. Tortricidae of Europe, Vol. 1, Tortricinae and Chlidanotinae. Frantisek Slamka, Slovakia. 247 pp.
Figs. 6-7: University of California Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM Web Site)