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CAPS Non-target - Adult

 Sparganothis sulfureana (Clemens) (Tortricidae: Tortricinae: Sparganothini)

Common names: Sparganothis fruitworm

Synonyms: belfrageana (var.), euphronopa (Sparganothis), fulvoroseana (Croesia?), gallivorana (Croesia?), gratana (Conchylis), virgineana (Croesia), virginiana (Croesia?)

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: 6.5-10.0 mm

Forewings are bright yellow with orange to purplish markings. Wing pattern is variable, but most individuals have two marks along the costa and a "V" shaped mark extending from the costa to dorsum. This pattern creates the appearance of an "X" when the moth is resting with its wings folded. Other individuals may be nearly patternless or have extensive reticulations. Hindwings are light gray to grayish brown.

Some adult forms are similar to other species of Sparganothis, including S. lycopodiana and S. unifasciana.

Larval Morphology

Late instar larvae are approximately 13-17 mm long. The abdomen is yellowish to grayish green with lighter, conspicuous pinacula. The head is yellowish to reddish brown with antennae that are white basally and black distally. The prothoracic shield is concolorous with the abdomen and is edged laterally (and possibly posterolaterally) with black. An anal comb is present with 6-9 teeth.


Sparganothis sulfureana completes two generations per year. Adults are present from mid-June to July and August to September.

Females lay eggs in masses that contain 20-50 individual eggs on the upper surface of leaves. Larvae of the first (spring) generation feed on flower buds and leaves; those of the second (summer) generation feed on leaves and fruit. Overwintering occurs as an early instar larva in leaf debris on the ground.

Host plants

Larvae of S. sulfureana are polyphagous and have been recorded feeding on plants in nearly 20 families. This species is best known as a serious pest of cranberry, where it causes damage to both leaves and fruit.

Family Genus/species Common name
Apiaceae Apium graveolens L. wild celery
Apiaceae Hydrocotyle L. hydrocotyle
Asteraceae Arctium L. burdock
Asteraceae Aster L. aster
Asteraceae Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. eastern daisy
Asteraceae Helianthus L. sunflower
Asteraceae Solidago L. goldenrod
Asteraceae Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (L.) G.L. Nesom New England aster
Clusiaceae Hypericum L. St. Johnswort
Clusiaceae Hypericum perforatum L. common St. Johnswort
Cupressaceae Thuja occidentalis L. arborvitae
Ericaceae Vaccinium L. blueberry
Ericaceae Vaccinium L. cranberry
Ericaceae Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton cranberry
Fabaceae Gleditsia L. locust
Fabaceae Medicago sativa L. alfalfa
Fabaceae Phaseolus lunatus L. sieva bean
Fabaceae Robinia L. locust
Fabaceae Trifolium L. clover
Fabaceae Trifolium pratense L. red clover
Lamiaceae Mentha L. mint
Lamiaceae Monarda fistulosa L. wild bergamot
Liliaceae Lilium L. lily
Onagraceae Oenothera L. evening primrose
Pinaceae Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. balsam fir
Pinaceae Larix Mill. larch
Pinaceae Picea glauca (Moench) Voss white spruce
Pinaceae Pinus banksiana Lamb. jack pine
Pinaceae Pinus resinosa Aiton red pine
Pinaceae Pinus rigida Mill. pitch pine
Pinaceae Pinus strobus L. eastern white pine
Pinaceae Pinus sylvestris L. Scots pine
Pinaceae Pinus L. pine
Poaceae Zea mays L. corn
Ranunculaceae Ranunculus L. buttercup
Rosaceae Crataegus L. hawthorn
Rosaceae Fragaria L. strawberry
Rosaceae Malus Mill. apple
Rosaceae Prunus virginiana L. chokecherry
Rutaceae Citrus L. citrus
Salicaceae Salix L. willow
Santalaceae Comandra umbellata (L.) Nutt. bastard toadflax
Scrophulariaceae Penstemon Schmidel beardtongue
Ulmaceae Ulmus americana L. American elm
Verbenaceae Verbena L. vervain
Vitaceae Vitis L. grape
Vitaceae Vitis vinifera L. wine grape


Sparganothis sulfureana is widespread in eastern North America. There are also records from the Pacific Northwest.


Beckwith, C. S. 1938. Sparganothis sulfureana Clem., a cranberry pest in New Jersey. Journal of Economic Entomology. 31: 253-256.

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.

Landry, J-F., M. Roy and C. Turcotte. 2002. Cranberry pests of Quebec, an identification guide. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. 117 pp.

MacKay, M. R. 1959. Larvae of the North American Olethreutidae (Lepidoptera). Canadian Entomologist Supplement 10: 1-338.

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