Hedya nubiferana

Author: (Haworth, 1811)

Marbled orchard tortrix
Green bud moth
larva: green budworm

Species Overview:

Adult: 15-21 mm wingspan; forewings ochreous-white apically, suffused with silver and ochreous grey, the remainder marbled with fuscous, bluish grey and black; apical spot indistinct; blackish postmedian dots situated costad of the medial angulation of the median fascia. Hindwings grey.
Egg: 0.85 x 0.65 mm; lenticular-ovate, chorion transparent, iridescent, with fine reticulate sculpture.
Larva: 18-20 mm long; abdomen grey-green to dark olive-green; pinacula black, small; head and prothoracic plate black; anal plate blackish brown; thoracic legs dark brown to black [Hedya nubiferana larva ].
Pupa: 8-10 mm long; dull black; cremaster tapered, with an apical tuft of eight hooked bristles; in a rolled or folded leaf [details pupa H. nubiferana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Hedya nubiferana male
Hedya nubiferana adult
Hedya nubiferana adults
External characters: 15-21 mm wingspan. Forewing ground colour white, heavily strigulated with bluish plumbeous and blackish between basal patch and median fascia, weakly suffused or strigulated with pale greyish ochreous distad of median fascia; a moderately conspicuous orbicular patch on submedian fold; markings dark brown or ochreous brown, strigulated with plumbeous intermixed with blackish; basal and sub-basal fasciae confluent, forming an ill-defined basal patch; median fascia with outer edge abruptly angled outwards at middle, two black dots immediately costad of the projection, the upper dot usually larger and elongate, a slender blackish dash near middle of outer edge of fascia and a heavy blackish concentration below, the latter usually mixed with plumbeous; subterminal fascia obsolescent, sometimes dilated and recurved at middle of distal area; a variably developed apical spot; cilia white, suffused or mixed with grey along termen, a dark grey sub-basal line. Hindwing grey, darker apically and along termen; cilia paler, a dark grey sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1979).

male gen. Hedya nubiferana
Genitalia: Valva elongated, with tufts of setae along ventral margin; sacculus with clasper. Aedeagus without cornuti. Uncus broad, bifurcate apically. Socii relatively small. Gnathos spined.


External characters: Forewing colouration and markings similar to those of male; hindwing dark grey.

female gen. Hedya nubiferana
Genitalia: Sterigma large, minutely spined as well as bristled, with triangular excavation caudally. Antrum narrow; elongated. Ductus bursae with two small signa; one slightly smaller than the other.


The general colouration of the forewing, and the development of the markings, can show minor variation. Lightly marked specimens are more brownish in general appearance. Rarely, also light- coloured forms which have the markings almost obsolete, and dark infuscate forms occur.

Taxonomic note:

Hedya dimidio alba (Retzius, 1783) is not binominal and therefore not available (Karsholt and Stadel Nielsen, 1998). The formerly used name nubiferana Haworth, 1811 is reinstated (Kuchlein and De Vos, 1999).


In Europe, adults occur in June and July. When at rest, they closely resemble bird droppings. Eggs are laid singly or in small groups, mainly on the underside of leaves. They hatch in about two weeks and then feed for several weeks. Third-instar larvae overwinter, in dense cocoons spun within bark crevices or below old scales. Activity is resumed in late March or April, the larvae attacking the opening buds, blossom trusses, foliage and young shoots, often sheltering between two leaves webbed together with silk. Pupation occurs in spun leaves in late May or June, adults emerging two or three weeks later. In the USA, moths start to fly in May and June (Alford, 1995; Weires and Riedl, 1991).

Host plants:

The larvae feeding on various trees and shrubs including blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), hawthorn (Crataegus), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), apple (Malus), pear (Pyrus), cherry and plum (Prunus spp.), peach (Prunus persica), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), alder (Alnus), ash (Fraxinus), rose (Rosa), oak (Quercus), willow (Salix), birch (Betula), Cydonia oblonga, Fragaria moschata and Sorbus aucuparia.


damaged buds (spring)
damage on pear tree (H. n.)
On fruit trees, the larvae are usually a minor fruit pest. Summer larvae are primarily leaf skeletonizers and cause little economic damage. Spring feeding can be more important, since flower parts are destroyed. On ornamental shrubs and trees, the larvae contribute to the damage done to leaves and blossoms by other species of caterpillar; they may also tunnel into the young shoots and cause wilting or death of the tips (Weires and Riedl, 1991; Alford, 1984; Alford, 1995).


Europe to Southern Siberia and Asia Minor; North America.


E 8E 10-12Ac : 12
Z 8-12Ac : 8
12Ac : 25
(Frérot et al., 1979a)


E 8E 10-12Ac : 55
Z 8-12Ac : 32
E 8-12Ac : 5
12Ac : 9
(Roelofs and Brown, 1982)


E 8E 10-12OH
(Chambon and d'Aguilar, 1974)


Ascogaster quadridentata Wesmael (Braconidae)
Apanteles longicauda Wesmael (Braconidae)
Apanteles xanthostigmus Hal.
Macrocentrus thoracicus Nees (Braconidae)
Macrocentrus abdominalis (Fabricius) (Braconidae)
Macrocentrus pallipes Nees (Braconidae)
Microgaster hospes Marsh (Braconidae)
Brachymeria intermedia Först. (Chalcidoidea)
Oncophanes lanceolator Nees (Braconidae)
Colpoclypeus florus (Walker) (Eulophidae)
Pristomerus vulnerator Panzer (Ichneumonidae)
Angitia areolaris Holm. (Ichneumonidae)
Glypta spp. (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla instigator Fabr. (Ichneumonidae)
Scambus hispae Harris (Ichneumonidae)
Scambus pictipes Grav. (Ichneumonidae)
Trichogramma embryophagum Hart. (Trichogrammatidae)
Blondelia nigripes Fall. (Tachinidae)
Strobliomya tibialis Rob.-Desv. (Tachinidae)
(Dreyer, 1984; Osman and Balazs, 1988)