Summer Fruit Tortrix Moth
Summer fruit tortrix caterpillar and leaf damage on cherry. Photo: Jae-Cheon Sohn, Bugwood.org
Summer fruit tortrix adult male at rest on leaf. Photo: Jae-Cheon Sohn, Bugwood.org
Summer fruit tortrix moth resting on a branch. Photo: Csaba Szaboky, Bugwood.org
Summer Fruit Tortrix Adult Female. Photo: Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org
Forewing of a summer fruit tortrix female moth. Photo: Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org
The summer fruit tortrix moth is an insect pest native to Europe and Asia. It primarily feeds on apples, cherries, and pears, though it has over 50 other plant hosts. While summer fruit tortrix has yet to be discovered in the United States, its arrival and establishment could be devastating.
Apples, cherries, and pears are economically important crops in New York and the United States. The introduction and establishment of summer fruit totrix poses serious risks in economic crop loss, costs of control measures, and potential trade barriers for export of fruit.
Summer fruit tortrix caterpillars are yellow-green, and they web leaves together where they later pupate. The first generation of adult moths emerges in June and July, the second in August and September. With a wingspan of 0.75-0.87 inches, female moths are larger than males, whose wingspan is generally 0.60-0.75 inches. Male moths have more distinct markings, rusty orange with a dark brown pattern that usually widens into a triangular shape at the edge of the forewing. Females tend to have brownish wings with less distinct markings.
Before a plant even has a crop, summer fruit tortrix caterpillars begin eating the leaves, eventually webbing them together. Leaf damage is not as economically troublesome as fruit damage; however caterpillars will feed on fruit if it is available. They create pin-like holes that ruin the crop's outer appearance and these injuries make the fruit significantly more susceptible to post-harvest decay and rots. Damaged fruit cannot be sold for fresh market consumption and is downgraded for processing.