Ancylis comptana

Author: (Frölich, 1828)

Strawberry leaf-roller

Species Overview:

Adult: 11-14 mm wingspan; forewing falcate; ground colour silvery white, suffused with fuscous and plumbeous; markings dull brown consisting of a large basal patch, a narrow, acutely angled median fascia, a slender pre-tornal marking and diffuse subterminal fascia. Some plumbeous striae extend from the upper part of the median fascia towards costa. Hindwing grey.
Egg: deposited singly, usually on the underside of a leaf of the food plant.
Larva: 11-12 mm long; head light yellowish to dark brown, region of stemmata blackish brown, posterior margin of epicranium sometimes blackish brown; prothoracic plate pale yellow to yellowish brown, with a usually distinct, small blackish marking on postero-lateral margin; abdomen greyish green, sometimes with an indistinct darker dorsal line, spinules minute and dense; pinacula lighter than integument, moderately large and conspicuous; anal plate pale yellow, transversely mottled or spotted with blackish brown medially; anal comb present, well developed.

Taxonomic Description:


Ancylis comptana adult 1
Ancylis comptana adult 2
Ancylis comptana adults
External characters: 11-14 mm wingspan. Forewing falcate, apex acutely angled; ground colour silvery white, variably irrorate and suffused with fuscous and plumbeous; markings dull brown to fuscous-brown, with a variable ochreous admixture; a large almost semicircular to triangular basal patch, narrowly obsolete on costa, reaching to middle of dorsum or slightly beyond; median fascia narrow on costa, broadening towards middle, outer edge very oblique to subapical area, edged with a plumbeous stria which continues nearly to termen, thence acutely angled dorsad, an indistinct black median dash in angle and sometimes another below; pre-tornal marking slender, outward-oblique, often with a blackish admixture; subterminal fascia diffuse, arising from near middle of termen, usually intersected by the plumbeous stria extending from the upper part of the median fascia, often with a blackish admixture at this point; cilia white, suffused with fuscous at apex, a black subapical dash, suffused with grey along termen and around tornus, with a black basal line along termen. Hindwing grey; cilia paler (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia A. comptana
Genitalia: Uncus long, longitudinally divided almost up to base, both parts curved apically; gnathos not developed; socii long and relatively narrow, about half the width of apex of cucullus. Valva relatively small, with semi-circular notch in ventral margin; apical projection of sacculus long.


External characters: Similar to male

female genitalia A. comptana
Genitalia: Lamella antevaginalis a narrow rim, outer margins convex laterally; ostium broad; antrum broadening caudally. Corpus bursae with two very large signa; base of signa elongated.


There is considerable variation in the markings and colouration of the forewing, particularly in the intensity of the suffusion of the ground colour. Specimens which have the suffusion heavy may appear almost unicolorous, the basal patch, except its darker distal portion, and the median fascia often being obscured; in shape the basal patch is most often obliquely rounded distally but sometimes the outer edge is nearly straight or straight and the patch is triangular (Bradley et al., 1979)


In Europe, there are two generations yearly. Moths of the first generation fly from April to June. Eggs are deposited on the underside of young leaves of the host plant. The young larva lives in a flimsy weblike spinning on the underside of a leaf of the food plant. Later it lives in a folded leaf, forming a tunnel of silk and frass and feeding on the upper surface. Pupation occurs in July. Moths of the second generation fly from mid July till September. Larvae of the September generation overwinter either fully grown in a cocoon spun up in a dead leaf or continue to feed intermittently until fully grown in the spring. Pupation follows in May.
In New Jersey, USA, moths of the first generation fly from the end of March until April and those of the second in late May and June. Here, a third or sometimes even a fourth generation occurs, moths of which fly in August and from September until October respectively.

Host plants:

Sanguisorba minor, Potentilla, Fragaria (including cultivated strawberry), Teucrium, Rosa, Dryas octopetala, Rubus idaeus (raspberry), Rubus icaesius (dewberry) and Thymus.


Larvae damage soft fruits, especially strawberry but also raspberry. In Europe its economic importance is small, but in the USA, this species has locally become an important pest of strawberries. Only leaves are attacked, but severe attacks cause a decrease in yield.


Europe, from UK and Scandinavia to Northern Spain and Turkey; Asia Minor; Kazakhstan; Uzbekistan; Russia; China; Mongolia; Korea; Japan. In North America, this species is represented by the subspecies Ancylis comptana fragariae (Walsh and Riley).


Pheromone unknown.


(record from Italy)
Colpoclypeus florus (Walker) (Eulophidae)

(records from North America)
Macrocentrus ancylivorus Rhw. (Braconidae)
Cremaster cooki Wied. (Braconidae)
Nemorilla floralis Fallen (Tachinidae)