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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

990310n – 19310   Epiphyas postvittana (Walker, 1863)
             Little Brown Apple Moth
Distribution Data for Epiphyas postvittana
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Distribution: Australia; USA: CA.
and Size:
Forewing length ranges 5-12.5mm.
Completes 2-4 generations per year.
Larva and
Host Plants:
Polyphagous, include representatives of the Asteraceae, Anacardiaceae, Amaranthaceae, Araliaceae, Betulaceae, Brassicaceae, Cannabaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae Juglandaceae, Malvaceae, Myrtaceae, Oleaceae, Pinaceae, Polygonaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Rutaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Solanaceae, Ulmaceae, and Vitaceae. Some hosts of importance include Vitis vinifera Citrus spp (Citrus), Pyrus spp. (pear), Prunus persica (peach), Prunus armeniaca (apricot), Malus spp. (apple), Fragaria spp. (strawberry), Persea americana (avocado), Quercus spp. (oak), and Medicago sativa (alfalfa).Description/Field Marks: Adults are light brown to tan and with brown to dark-brown markings. Several phenotypes exist, although males are more variable than females. In males, the basal half of the forewing is lighter than the apical half and the median fascia is well defined. The apical third of the forewing can be uniformly dark-brown or mottled in appearance. In females, the forewing patterning and color is more uniform, the median fascia is less defined and the overall appearance is mottled. The hindwing is mottled grey-brown although this pattern is less evident in males.
Larvae are yellowish green, however this is variable depending on host and stage of development. The head of all instars is pale brown and the prothoracic shield will be approximately the same color as the body.
Similar Species:
  • Adults are similar to other Epiphyas and North American Archipines. Male genitalia can be used to confirm identity. According to Gilligan and Epstein (2012) Male E. postvittana have a large membranous lobe on the valve that is not seen in most other Nearctic Tortricidae. A similar lobe is present in many species of Clepsis, however the lobe is smaller and lacks a conspicuous notch seen in E. postvittana.
  • Pinned specimens of related species. (Hint: select View by Region on the related species page.)
  • (1) Gilligan, T.M., and Epstein, M.E. 2012. Tortricids of Agricultural Importance website
Photographs are needed for this species.

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