Archips xylosteana

Author: (Hübner, 1799)

Variegated golden tortrix
Apple leaf roller

Species Overview:

Adult: wingspan males 15-21mm, females 16-24 mm; forewings whitish ochreous with ochreous brown or reddish brown, pale edged markings; a black-brown dot at disc; subterminal marking pistol-shaped in males. Hindwings greyish-brown.
Egg: cylindrical, laid in a tight, purplish brown mass [A. xylosteana egg batch].
Larva: 16-22 mm long; whitish grey, sometimes grey or dark bluish grey, with paler sides; head shiny black; prothoracic plate black or dark brown, with a whitish mid-line and collar; anal comb present [Archips xylosteana larva 1 ; Archips xylosteana larva 2 ].
Pupa: ca. 10-15 mm long; reddish brown to dark brown or black; cremaster elongate; abdominal segments 2 and 3 with transverse folds dorsally, front margin of transverse fold reaching far behind, especially in segment 2, hind margin of the fold distinctly undulate; abdominal segments with some conspicuous hairs [details pupa Archips xylosteana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Archips xylosteana adult
Archips xylosteana male
Archips xylosteana males 1
Archips xylosteana males 2
External characters: 15-21mm wingspan. Labial palp pale brownish cream often mixed rust; remaining parts of head and thorax rather concolorous; abdomen brownish grey with similarly coloured terminal tuft. Forewing fairly broad, somewhat expanding terminally; costa curved outwards to middle, then rather straight, weakly sinuate just before apex; apex very short; termen not oblique, gently sinuate postapically. Costal fold reaching to two-thirds of costa, gradually tapering terminally from the middle. Ground colour whitish ochreous with more or less distinct grey, slightly refractive suffusion. Markings reddish brown, thinly edged with clear ground colour, costal fold browner; basal blotch variably developed, usually slender, broadening subterminally; median fascia slender in costal quarter, very broad in remaining parts, inner margin sinuate; a black-brown dot at disc; subapical spot semi-ovate, usually contiguous with paler pistol-shaped subterminal marking; a reddish-brown spot or elongate marking at apex or in apical part of termen. Cilia concolorous with the ground colour of distal portion of wing, grey-brown at tornus, mixed rust at apex. Hindwing greyish-brown, mixed ferruginous in apical area; cilia pale ochreous-cream or cream, brownish in caudal part of wing, with brown basal line (Razowski, 1977; Bradley et al., 1973).

male genitalia A. xylosteana
Genitalia: Uncus broadening in distal half; socius vestigial; sacculus with short free termination. Aedeagus short, tapering terminally, pointed ventro-apically, with slender subapical lateral process; usually 6 cornuti present in vesica.


Archips xylosteana females 1
Archips xylosteana females 2
External characters: 16-24 mm wingspan; forewing fairly broad. Costa distinctly curved outwards in basal third, then weakly so, slightly concave before apex; apex fairly short (much longer than in male); termen sinuate, convex and rounded postmedially. Colouration as in male or markings less reddish, often darker. Hindwing grey, apical area sometimes tinged with yellow or cupreous (Razowski, 1977; Bradley et al., 1973).

female gen. A. xylosteana
Genitalia: Sterigma delicate with short caudal portion and small median process; anterior (cup-shaped) portion well developed, broad posteriorly, distinctly tapering anteriorly, fused partially with sclerite of antrum; cestum reaching almost to the end of ductus bursae; signum with capitulum


Considerable minor variation is found in the forewing markings. The inner margin of the median fascia may be shallowly sinuous or almost angulate at the middle; the terminal marking may be reduced to a small irregularly shaped spot. In some specimens the ground colour and markings may be extremely pale and in others abnormally dark (Bradley et al., 1973).


rolled leaf (A. xylosteana)
detail rolled leaf (xylosteana)
rolled apple leaf (A. x.)
Eggs are laid in batches on the trunks or branches and then coated with a brownish secretion, which camouflages them against the bark. After hatching, the larvae begin feeding on the underside of the leaves. Later, each feeds inside a tightly rolled leaf edge, usually on fully expanded foliage at the shoot tips. Pupation occurs in a transversely rolled leaf or between two spun leaves, adults emerging a few weeks later. In Europe, moths are on wing from late June till mid August; in Japan they occur from late May till early July.

Host plants:

The larvae feed on a wide variety of trees, shrubs and woody plants (Acer, Crataegus , Castanea, Corylus, Fagus, Fraxinus, Lonicera, Betula, Tilia, Quercus, Sorbus, Salix, Myrica, Hypericum, Ulmus, Abies). It is also found on fruit trees and shrubs, including apple (Malus), pear (Pyrus), raspberry (Rubus) cherry and plum (Prunus). In Japan also recorded on Citrus.


Larval habitations may disfigure host plants and cause concern but feeding is confined mainly to fully expanded leaves and is, therefore, of little or no significance (Alford, 1995).
In Japan, this species is more a pest of chestnut than it is of apple.


Europe (north of 64 ° in Sweden), Asia Minor, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Eastern Russia (Primorsk, S. Sakhalin, S. Kuril Is.), China (South Shansi), Korea, Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu).


Z 11-14Ac : 92 *
E 11-14Ac : 8 * (Frérot et al., 1983)

Components marked with * are involved in attraction.


Phaeogenus eurydoxae Uchida (Ichneumonidae)
Anilisatus carbonarius Thoms. (Ichneumonidae)
Phytodietus segmentator Gravenhorst (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla maculator F. (Ichneumonidae)
Itoplectis maculator Fabricius (Ichneumonidae)
Brachymeria obscurata Walker (Chalcididae)
Brachymeria observator Walker (Chalcididae)
Neocopidosoma komobae Ishic. (Chalcididae)
Apanteles albipennis Nees (Braconidae)
Apanteles viminetorum Wesmael (Braconidae)
Chremylus rubiginosus Nees (Braconidae)
Microbracon crassipes Thomson(Braconidae)
Oncophanes lanceolator Nees (Braconidae)
Neocopidosoma komabae Ishic. (Encyrtidae)
Trichocgramma sp. (Trichogrammatidae)
Steiniomyia bakeri Townsend (Tachinidae)
Pseudoperichaeta nigrolineata (Walker) (Tachinidae)

on apple:

Besides Archips endoi, Archips breviplicana, Archips audax and Archips fuscocupreana , which are already dealt with elsewhere, following species of Archips have been recorded from apple in Japan.

1. Archips nigricaudana (Walsingham)

Archips nigricaudana male; male genitalia A. nigricaudana ; female gen. A. nigricaudana
Median fascia atrophied at costa in males; pre-apical spot not accompanied by pistol-shaped subterminal marking; apex of forewing not produced in males.
Genitalia: The uncus of the male genitalia in this species is more slender basally, and more rounded apically. The aedeagus is provided with a minute dent ventro-terminally. In Archips xylosteana, the aedeagus is provided with a long, slender lateral process. The cestum of the female genitalia is also long, but the sterigma has a fairly long dorsal part, and the anterior part of the sterigma is almost uniformly broad throughout.

Host plants are Abies holophylla, Castanopsis sp., Corylus heterophylla, Diospyros kaki, Lespedeze bicolor, Malus pumila, Morus sp., Pyrus simoni, Quercus serrata, Quercus mongolica, Quercus acutissima, Quercus variabilis, and Salix sp.
Distribution: Korea, Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu; Russia: Primorsk.

2. Archips ingentana (Christoph)

Archips ingentana male; Archips ingentana female; male genitalia A. ingentana ; female gen. A. ingentana
Subterminal markings absent in males.
Genitalia: Males of this species can be distinguished from all mentioned species except Archips breviplicana, by the spined termination of the sacculus. The sacculus is provided with a median thorn.
The cestum of the female genitalia does not reach the middle of the ductus bursae. The sterigma is large and has a strong median process and large, well sclerotized distal lobes. The cup-shaped portion of the sterigma is constricted medially

Host plants are Abies firma, Acer, Artemisia, Cerasus, Disporum similacinum, Filipendula, Fragaria, Houttuynia cordata, Lonicera, Malus pumila, Petasites japonicus, Polygonum , Prunus salicina, Pyrus simoni, Quercus serrata, Urtica thunbergia.
Distribution: Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu; North Korea; China: Manchuria; Russia: S. Kuril Is., S. Primorsk, S. Sakhalin.

on Abies:

Besides Archips oporana, Archips audax and Archips issikii, which are already dealt with elsewhere, following species of Archips have been recorded from Abies in Japan: Archips ingentana, Archips pulcher, Archips abiephaga, Archips capsigerana and Archips fumosa.
The forewings of Archips pulcher and Archips abiephaga have longitudinal, pale, streaks and lack the transverse markings; Archips xylosteana can be easily distinguished from the other mentioned species by the pale edged markings.

1. Archips ingentana (Christoph)

2. Archips pulcher (Butler)

Archips pulcher adult; male genitalia A. pulcher ; female gen. A. pulcher
Forewing without transverse markings; four pale grey-blue or grey-violet longitudinal fasciae present; costal fold absent.
Genitalia: The uncus of the male genitalia of Archips pulcher broadens terminally. The aedeagus is provided with a laterally situated row of teeth before apex.
The cestum of the female genitalia is also long. The dorsal part of the sterigma is longer. The papillae analis are broader.

Host plants are Abies sachalinensis, Abies homolepis , Abies concolor and Picea excelsa.
Distribution: Japan: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku; Russia: Primorsk, De Friz I.; Korea.

3. Archips abiephaga (Yasuda)

Archips abiephaga adult ;male genitalia A. abiephaga; female gen. A. abiephaga
Moths resemble those of Archips pulcher.
Genitalia: Males of this species can be distinguished from all other species by the characteristic bifurcate long uncus. The aedeagus has a distinct subapical prominence and small lateral teeth.
The ductus bursae of the female genitalia is rather short. The cestum is proportionally long. The sterigma is very broad, straight distally and rounded proximally, and has a very short cup-shaped part. The sclerite of the antrum is rather delicate.

Host plants are Abies sachalinensis and Abies concolor.
Distribution: Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu.

4. Archips capsigerana (Kennel)

Archips capsigerana male; male genitalia A. capsigerana; female gen. A. capsigerana
Costal fold conspicuous, broad, yellow with reddish brown tinge; terminal markings slender; apex of hindwing yellow.
Genitalia: In Archips capsigerana, the uncus does not expand terminally. The sacculus is short, provided with dorsal processes and a short free termination. The aedeagus broadens terminally, is marked with two minute dents dorso-apically and is minutely dentate, mainly in median portion.
The cestum of the female genitalia reaches to beyond the middle of the ductus bursae. The sterigma has a prominent median process.

Host plants are Abies firma, Acer palmatum, Daphniphyllum teijsmanii, Fraxinus mandshurica, Maesa japonica, Machilus thunbergi and Prunus salicina.
Distribution: Japan: Honshu; Russia: S. Primorsk.

5. Archips fumosa (Kodama)

Archips fumosa male
male genitalia A. fumosa ; female gen. A. fumosa
Costal fold broad and short (relatively long and slender in Archips xylosteana).
Genitalia: In Archips fumosa, the uncus narrows slightly postmedially and expands towards the end. The aedeagus is provided with a small, dentate dorso-lateral process situated postmedially.
The dorsal part of the sterigma of the female genitalia is longer in Archips fumosa than in Archips xylosteana and tapers slightly anteriorly; the sclerite of the antrum is smaller and the papillae analis are broader.

Host plants are Abies sachalinensis, Taxus cuspidata and Picea pungens.
Distribution: Japan: Hokkaido; China: Yunnan.