Aleimma loeflingiana

Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pale yellow leafroller

Species Overview:

Adult: 14-21 mm wingspan; forewing angulate; ground colour pale yellow, marked with yellowish brown and dark brown, including a dark margin at the base of the cilia. A very variable species.
Egg: oval, reddish-brown; deposited on the bark of the shoots.
Larva: up to 15 mm long; head, prothoracic and anal plates and thoracic legs blackish-brown or black; abdomen pale green varying to brownish green, integument strongly shagreened; pinacula brown or black [Aleimma loeflingiana larva].
Pupa: light reddish brown, usually in a dull white cocoon in the larval habitation, but sometimes in leaf litter.

Taxonomic Description:


Aleimma loeflingiana adult
Aleimma loeflingiana adults 1
Aleimma loeflingiana adults 2
External characters: 14-21 mm wingspan. Antenna very shortly ciliate; labial palpus ochreous-yellow; head, scape of antenna and partially flagellum pale ochreous-yellow, darker scales on flagellum present; thorax darker than head, smooth; abdomen brownish. Forewing slightly expanding posteriorly, costa uniformly curved outwards, or a little more arced at base; apex short, pointed; termen oblique, rather straight. Ground colour pale yellow, weakly strigulated and suffused with ochreous-brown or tawny, veins often similarly lined; markings somewhat diffuse, plumbeous with a variable ochreous-brown admixture; fasciae slightly oblique, partly obliterate, margins diffuse; basal fascia obsolescent, outer edge usually indicated by a thin line; sub-basal fascia excised costally, dilated medially and with outer margin often projected, sharply indented above submedian fold; median fascia at about three-fifth excised on costa, dilated medially; pre-apical spot usually represented by two heavy striae on costa, emitting or followed by several strigulae on the terminal area; cilia pale yellow, grey around tornus, with a strong ochreous-brown basal line from apex to near tornus. Hindwing grey; cilia paler. (Bradley et al., 1973; Razowski, 1984).

male genitalia A. loeflingiana
Genitalia: Tegumen short with fairly short pedunculi, delicately concave in middle posteriorly; socii subsquare; tuba analis slender. Valva strong, with costa long, broadening posteriorly; sacculus slender with broad termination coalescent with caudal edge of valva, slightly concave in middle ventrally; brachiola strongly modified, short, broad, not reaching caudal edge of valva. Transtilla weakly sclerotized. Aedeagus rather short, pointed ventro-terminally, with short coecum penis; cornuti absent.


External characters: Forewing slightly less broad terminally compared to males; colour and markings as in male.

female gen. A. loeflingiana
Genitalia: Papillae analis broad, flat posteriorly, with long hairs submedially and small, hairy, anterior portions which are rounded apically; apophyses posteriores very broad; apophyses anteriores short; sterigma broad, sinuate on both sides of median convexity of posterior edge and with small, rounded anterior projections and delicate sculptures; antrum more strongly sclerotized than remaining portions of ductus bursae, the latter fairly short, membranous; corpus bursae elongate; signum plate-shaped, elongate.


An extremely variable species, ranging from weakly marked individuals in which the light yellow ground colour of the forewing is strigulated with ochreous-brown or tawny, with the fascia obsolescent and weakly indicated only on the costa, to heavily marked forms in which the markings are darkened with a blackish admixture, the sub-basal and median fascia coalescing medially. Exceptionally heavily marked specimens occur, in which the diffuse blackish markings extend to the terminal area, the yellow ground colour being almost obliterated except along the costal margin and in the basal area. An uncommon form occurs having the normal yellow ground colouration replaced by warm orange-ochreous or tawny, with the markings usually reduced (Bradley et al., 1973).


There is only one generation yearly; eggs hibernate. Moths fly in June and July, frequenting oak woods and forest borders. They are often found on isolated oaks along roadsides and on farmland. During the day it may be obtained in numbers by shaking the lower branches of oaks, and occasionally is found at rest on the trunks, usually low down near the ground. Both sexes fly freely at dusk.
Larvae feed within folded or rolled leaves throughout May. Pupation occurs in June, in a dull white cocoon in the larval habitation or sometimes in leaf litter (Bradley et al., 1973; Alford, 1995).

Host plants:

Quercus; also Carpinus and Acer.


The larvae feed within folded or rolled leaves. Attacks are sometimes noted on young cultivated trees, but are generally of no, or little, economic importance (Alford, 1995).


Western part of Palaearctic Region to Western Russia, Georgia, Asia Minor and Syria.


Pheromone unknown.


E 11-14Ac
Z 11-14Ac (Frérot et al., 1979b)


E 11-14Ac : 1
E 11-14Al : 1 (Booij and Voerman, 1985)


Actia pilipennis Fallén (Tachinidae)
Nemorilla floralis Fallén (Tachinidae)
Copidosoma tortricis Waterston (Encyrtidae)
Bassus dimidiator Nees (Braconidae)
Agritia exareolata Ratzeburg(Ichneumonidae)
Campoplex difformis Gmelin (Ichneumonidae)
Trichomma enecator Rossi (Ichneumonidae)