Epinotia nanana

Author: (Treitschke, 1835)

Species Overview:

Adult: 9-11 mm wingspan; forewing of male without a costal fold; ground colour white, suffused with grey and strigulated with fuscous; markings poorly defined; basal patch diffuse; median fascia narrow, sometimes constricted or sprinkled with white before middle. Hindwing dark fuscous.
Egg: 0.9 x 0.4 mm, greenish at first, later turning reddish.
Larva: head and prothoracic plate blackish brown or black; abdomen reddish brown, becoming greyish yellow when fully grown; pinacula and anal plate concolorous with integument; anal comb absent; thoracic legs blackish brown.
Pupa: 5 mm long; light yellowish brown; frons broad, only slightly arced; apex of forewing relatively blunt; spines on abdominal segment 2 smaller than those on abdominal segment 3; spines near anterior margin clearly bigger than those near posterior margin on abdominal segments 3-7; posterior spines on anal segment clearly bigger than those on 8th and 9th abdominal segments, lateral spines not bigger than dorsal spines; anal segment with 2 pairs of hooked setae dorsally and 1 pair of setae ventrally; with a weakly developed ventral rim. In a white silken cocoon in the larval habitation or amongst leaf litter on the ground [details pupa E. nanana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Epinotia nanana adult
Epinotia nanana adults
External characters: 9-11 mm wingspan. Forewing without a costal fold; ground colour white, extensively suffused with grey and diffusely strigulated with fuscous; markings poorly defined, brown mixed and strigulated with dark fuscous; basal and sub-basal fasciae forming a diffuse basal patch, its outer edge obtusely angulated below middle; median fascia narrow, oblique from costa to dorsum, sometimes constricted or sprinkled with white before middle, outer edge angulated outwards at middle, confluent with pre-tornal marking; subterminal fascia arising from below middle of termen, often weakened or constricted in distal area; cilia grey, paler basally, with a black sub-basal line. Hindwing dark fuscous; cilia paler, with a dark sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia E. nanana
Genitalia: Uncus broad, bifurcate; upper fultura present; socii long, narrow apically. Valva relatively short, with only a very shallow notch in ventral margin; cucullus short and broad, oval.


External characters: Similar to male.

female genitalia E. nanana
Genitalia: Ovipositor short; sterigma membranous; antrum long; cingulum long, situated anterior to middle of ductus bursae, ductus seminalis originating here; corpus bursae with two large signa of equal size.


Rarely, the white forewing ground colour appears coarsely irrorate rather than suffused and the markings, though reduced, contrast more strongly (Bradley et al., 1979).


Moths fly from June to August. Larvae occur from late summer to April and May. They mine the leaves of the food plant and than overwinter in an early instar. In the spring, they recommence feeding, mining a leaf from the base to the apex, moving from one leaf to another and spinning a silken tube between them. Some of the frass is deposited in the old mine, the rest adhering to or becoming entangled in the silken tube. Usually there are a few strands of silk extending from the mined leaves to the adjacent leaves but not enough to cause bunching or distortion. Pupation occurs in June, in a white silken cocoon in the larval habitation or amongst leaf litter on the ground. After 2-4 weeks, moths appear (Bradley et al., 1979; Führer, 1978).

Host plants:

Picea abies, Picea excelsa, Picea pungens and Picea sitchensis


Larvae are found mining the needles of Picea, but are generally of no economic importance.


Northern and Central Europe to Russia and Mongolia; North America


Pheromone unknown.


E 8-12Ac : 1
E 10-12Ac : 1 (Booij and Voerman, 1984a)


No records from Europe.
In Canada, several larval parasitoids belonging to the families Ichneumonidae, Braconidae, Chalcidoidea and Tachinidae have been recorded, as well as a Trichogramma species from eggs.

Other species associated with Picea, not included in the species list:

1. Epinotia subsequana (Haworth)

Epinotia subsequana adult 1; Epinotia subsequana adult 2; male genitalia E. subsequana ; female genitalia E. subsequana
Forewing of male also without costal fold; hindwing white, infuscate in apical third; male antenna not biciliate-fasciculate.
Male genitalia: Socii without setae; valva short, ventral margin with deep notch.
Female genitalia: Signa very small.
Larvae feed on Picea and Abies (Europe to South-Western Russia).

2. Epinotia granitana (Herrich-Schäffer)

Epinotia granitana adult 1; Epinotia granitana adult 2; male genitalia E. granitana; female genitalia E. granitana
Forewing of male also without costal fold; ground colour pale grey, reticulate with blackish.
Male genitalia: Socii triangular, distally covered with setae; valva slender.
Female genitalia: Lamella antevaginalis consisting of two joining elongate sclerites; signa slender.
Larvae are predominantly found on Abies, rarely also on Picea (North and Central Europe to Western Russia and Kazakhstan).

3. Epinotia fraternana (Haworth)
(syn.: proximana)

Epinotia fraternana adults; male genitalia E. fraternana; female genitalia E. fraternana
Forewing of male with costal fold; ground colour silvery white, markings vary from tawny to brown.
Male genitalia: Ventral margin of valva with notch; socii long.
Female genitalia: Lamella postvaginalis elongate, rounded caudally.
Larvae are recorded from Abies spp., Picea spp. and Pinus sylvestris (Central and south-west Europe to south-west Russia).