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

CAPS Non-target - Adult

Clepsis persicana (Fitch) (Tortricidae: Tortricinae: Archipini)

Common names: white triangle tortrix, green needleworm

Synonyms: blandana (Ditula), conigerana (Tortrix),  fragariana (Lozotaenia)

Subspecies: C. persicana forbesi (British Columbia)

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: 8.5-10.5 mm (male); 10.0-11.0 mm (female)

Forewings are orange basally, becoming darker and purplish towards the pale termen. Most individuals have a well-defined white costal triangle, although this marking is reduced in some western phenotypes. Males have a long forewing costal fold that extends to nearly half the length of the costa.

Forewing pattern is sufficient to distinguish adults of this species from other Nearctic Tortricidae.

Larval Morphology

Last instar larvae are approximately 14-18 mm long with a pale green abdomen. The head and prothoracic shield are yellowish brown and unmarked. An anal comb is present. Larvae of Clepsis persicana may be  confused with a number of other tortricid larvae, including those of Clepsis, Argyrotaenia, Choristoneura, and Epiphyas postvittana.


Clepsis persicana completes a single generation per year. Adults are present from June to August.

Eggs are laid in overlapping patches on the upper surface of leaves or on smooth bark. Newly hatched larvae are incapable of constructing their own shelters and lower themselves on a silk thread searching for abandonded shelters of other tortricid species, such as Spilonota ocellana. If a suitable shelter is not found, larvae will descend to the ground and feed on cover plants for the remainder of the summer and autumn. Mid-instar larvae overwinter and complete development in the spring, where they may ascend trees or other woody plants. Larvae can cause damage to fruit by webbing leaves to the fruit or feeding in the calyx. Pupation occurs under bark or in fallen leaves near the base of a tree.

Host plants

Larvae are general feeders and have been recorded from over 40 species of deciduous and coniferous trees. Although Fitch described C. persicana from larvae he reared on peach (Prunus persica), this plant is not thought to be a primary host.

Family Genus/species Common name
Aceraceae Acer negundo L. boxelder
Aceraceae Acer L. maple
Apiaceae Osmorhiza berteroi DC. sweetcicely
Asteraceae Solidago L. goldenrod
Betulaceae Alnus incana (L.) Moench gray alder
Betulaceae Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC. green alder
Betulaceae Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC. ssp. crispa (Aiton) Turrill mountain alder
Betulaceae Alnus Mill. alder
Betulaceae Betula nana L. dwarf birch
Betulaceae Betula papyrifera Marshall paper birch
Betulaceae Betula L. birch
Betulaceae Corylus L. hazelnut
Cornaceae Cornus canadensis L. bunchberry dogwood
Ericaceae Rhododendron canadense (L.) Torr. rhodora
Ericaceae Vaccinium L. blueberry
Gentianaceae Frasera fastigiata (Pursh) A. Heller clustered green gentian
Gentianaceae Frasera Walter green gentian
Grossulariaceae Ribes L. currant
Liliaceae Maianthemum canadense Desf. Canada mayflower
Myrtaceae Comptonia peregrina (L.) J. M. Coult. sweet fern
Oleaceae Fraxinus L. ash
Pinaceae Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. balsam fir
Pinaceae Abies concolor (Gord. & Glend.) Lindl. ex Hildebr. white fir
Pinaceae Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. subalpine fir
Pinaceae Abies Mill. fir
Pinaceae Larix occidentalis Nutt. western larch
Pinaceae Larix Mill. larch
Pinaceae Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm. Engelmann spruce
Pinaceae Picea glauca (Moench) Voss white spruce
Pinaceae Picea A. Dietr. spruce
Pinaceae Pinus banksiana Lamb. jack pine
Pinaceae Pinus L. pine
Pinaceae Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco Douglas-fir
Pinaceae Pseudostuga Carriere Douglas-fir
Rhamnaceae Ceanothus L. ceanothus
Rosaceae Malus pumila Mill. paradise apple
Rosaceae Prunus persica (L.) Batsch peach
Rosaceae Prunus virginiana L. chokecherry
Rosaceae Prunus L.  
Rosaceae Rosa L. rose
Rosaceae Rubus L. blackberry
Salicaceae Populus balsamifera L. balsam poplar
Salicaceae Populus balsamifera L. ssp. trichocarpa
(Torr. & A. Gray ex Hook.) Brayshaw
black cottonwood
Salicaceae Populus tremuloides Michx. quaking aspen
Salicaceae Populus L. cottonwood
Salicaceae Salix L. willow
Ulmaceae Ulmus L. elm


Clepsis persicana is distributed from the northeastern United States west across southern Canada and the northern United States to British Columbia, and south to California and the Rocky Mountains.


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.

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.