Ancylis achatana

Author: (Denis and Schiffermüller, 1775)

Species Overview:

Adult: 14-18 mm wingspan; forewing broad, obtusely falcate; ground colour white, irrorate with silvery grey and with dark striae; markings chocolate-brown, fasciate markings comparatively well-defined, in the tornal area developed into a prominent quadrate or triangular blotch.
Larva: head and prothoracic plate black or dark brown mottled with black; abdomen reddish grey-brown to blackish grey-brown, paler or yellowish ventrally; pinacula whitish, bearing blackish setae with black bases; anal plate brown, rounded posteriorly, sometimes spotted with blackish anteriorly.
Pupa: 8-9 mm long; dark reddish brown to blackish brown; frons protruding, blackish; clypeus wrinkled; abdominal segments 2-7 with a deep transverse slit before basal row of spines, posterior side of which is dented; spines on the second and third abdominal segment very weak, those of the fourth and fifth stronger, but still small. Spines on anal segment, and often on 9th segment as well, situated in more than one row; anal segment with four pairs of hooked setae dorsally and two pairs ventrally. Loosely spun up in leaves of the food plant [details pupa Ancylis achatana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Ancylis achatana adult
Ancylis achatana male
External characters: 14-18 mm wingspan. Forewing broad, obtusely falcate, without costal fold; ground colour white, coarsely irrorate with silvery grey and strigulated with thick, submetallic plumbeous striae interspersed with a few fuscous-brown strigulae; markings chocolate-brown mixed with fuscous, those in distal area with a strong ferruginous admixture; basal and sub-basal fasciae forming a large, somewhat strigulated basal patch, sprinkled with silvery grey between the darker strigulation, its outer edge very irregular; median fascia moderately broad and well defined in costal third, obliquely interrupted before middle, confluent dorsally with pre-tornal marking, forming a large quadrate to triangular blotch; subterminal fascia arising near middle of termen, oblique to costa, predominantly ferruginous; a small, ovate, strongly ferruginous apical spot; cilia fuscous-black costally of apex, white variably mixed with grey below apex, with a well-defined, black basal line. Hindwing grey, thinly edged with dark grey around apical and terminal margins; cilia cream-white, with broad, diffuse sub-basal and subapical lines (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia A. achatana
Genitalia: Uncus reduced; gnathos absent; socii large. Sacculus with sub-triangular projection before notch in ventral margin of valva, apex of this projection rounded. Cucullus long. Aedeagus with several short cornuti.


External characters: Forewing colouration and markings similar to those of the male but hindwing darker.

female genitalia A. achatana
Genitalia: Lamella antevaginalis expanding outwards; ostium broad; antrum broadening caudally; ductus bursae with elongate sclerite; ductus seminalis originating at base of ductus bursae. Base of signa elongated.


The silvery grey irroration is variable. It can be very strong and pronounced in some specimens.


Moths fly in June and July. Young larvae hibernate. In May of the following year, they feed on leaves, spinning one or two leaves into a tubular-shaped shelter attached to a twig. Pupation occurs in May and June, loosely spun up in leaves of the food plant.

Host plants:

Crataegus, Prunus spinosa, Prunus domestica, Prunus mahaleb, Cotoneaster, Pyrus communis, Malus domestica, Malus sylvestris, Rubus fruticosus, Salix caprea and Urtica.


This species is not an economically important species, but larvae can sometimes be found damaging rosaceous plants in gardens.


Central and Southern Europe including the UK; Baltic area; Asia Minor; Ukraine; Russia to the Southern part of Trans-Ural.


Pheromone unknown.


Z 9-12Ac : 4
E 9-12Ac : 1 (Safonkin and Buleza, 1988)


Apechthis rufata Gmelin (Ichneumonidae)
Cidaphus thuringiacus Brauns (Ichneumonidae)
Hybophanes scabriculus Grav. (Ichneumonidae)
Itoplectis alternans Grav. (Ichneumonidae)
Itoplectis enslini Ulbr. (Ichneumonidae)
Tranosemella praerogator L. (Ichneumonidae)
Ascogaster quadridentata Wesmael (Braconidae)
Agathis dimidiator Nees (Braconidae)
Oncophanes lanceolator Nees (Braconidae)
Trichogramma embryophagum Hartig (Trichogrammatidae)
Nemorilla floralis Fallén (Tachinidae)