Clepsis consimilana

Author: (Hübner, 1817)

Species Overview:

Adult: 13-19 mm wingspan; male with yellow-brown forewings; markings browner, often indistinct; two small fuscous spots present on dorsum. Female darker, markings obsolescent except for two fuscous spots on dorsum. Hindwings brownish grey.
Larva: violet green or violet grey, with pale brown marked head and brown plates, thoracic legs and pinacula.
Pupa: light brown.

Taxonomic Description:


Clepsis consimilana adult
Clepsis consimilana male
Clepsis consimilana male 2
External characters: wingspan 13-17 mm. Antenna very weakly dentate-ciliate; head cream-ochreous to ochreous-rust; thorax often mixed brownish. Forewing not expanding terminally, broadest near middle; costa curved to middle, with slender costal fold to middle or slightly beyond; termen weakly oblique, straight or indistinctly convex. Forewing ground colour yellow-brown to ochreous-cream with weak ferruginous shade, often strigulated with brown; markings browner, indistinct. Two small fuscous spots present on dorsum; median fascia slender in costal area; subapical blotch weak. Cilia more cream than ground colour. Hindwing brownish grey; cilia much paler (Bradley et al., 1973; Razowski, 1979).

male genitalia C. consimilana
Genitalia: Uncus broad, rounded apically, shape of uncus is slightly variable. Valva long, provided with a row of thick, curved transformed bristles situated medially; sacculus provided with sharp prominence situated medially. Transtilla bipartite, dentate. Aedeagus with slender subterminal process.


Clepsis consimilana female
Clepsis consimilana female 2
External characters: wingspan 15-19 mm; more slender than in male with costa less strongly arced, apex more pointed and termen more oblique; darker, diffusely irrorate with reddish brown; markings obsolescent except for two fuscous spots on dorsum, with or without strigulation. Hindwing brownish grey (Bradley et al., 1973; Razowski, 1979).

female gen. C. consimilana
Genitalia: Sterigma short, concave in middle of dorsal wall, cestum provided with broad, minutely dentate plate-shaped part entering corpus bursae, signum fairly strong.


The forewing markings of the male vary in strength; not infrequently specimens are found with comparatively well-developed fasciae, sometimes with the ground colour irrorate with reddish brown as in the female. The forewing ground colour of the female may be paler and without the reddish brown irroration; more rarely the forewing is suffused with plumbeous, and the reddish brown irroration is intensified, the cilia remaining yellowish brown.


Eggs are deposited in small batches of 6-12 eggs on the upper surface of the leaves along the midrib. They hatch after ca. 12 days. Larvae occur from August to May, hibernating in the third instar in a hibernaculum made in dead leaves of the food plant. In Europe, moths fly from June to August and in September. In Northern Africa some specimens have been collected in March and November, so one can judge that there are at least three generations yearly.

Host plants:

Larvae are an occasional pest on plum (Prunus), and can also be found on apple (Malus), Carpinus, Crataegus, Hedera, Ligustrum, Syringa, Taxus and Polygonum.


Larvae feed on dead leaves, but occasionally also on fruits.


Europe to Asia Minor and Syria; Northern Africa; Eastern United States


Pheromone unknown.

Clepsis pallidana (Fabricius)

Clepsis pallidana adults ; Clepsis pallidana male ; Clepsis pallidana females
Besides Clepsis spectrana, which is already dealt with elsewhere, Clepsis pallidana (Fabricius) can also be found on apple. The uncus of the male genitalia of this species is less broad. The sacculus is convex ventrally. The valvae are shorter and do not have a row of thick, curved bristles [male genitalia C. pallidana ].
Females of the two species can be easily separated by the cestum: in Clepsis consimilana the cestum is provided with a broad, minutely dentate plate-shaped part entering the corpus bursae [female gen. C. pallidana ].