Orthotaenia undulana

Author: (Denis and Schiffermüller, 1775)

Species Overview:

Adult: 15-20 mm wingspan; forewing ochreous-white, marked with silvery-grey, greyish-yellow and brownish-black; hindwing grey, with pronounced anal fold protruding beyond margin of wing.
Larva: head black; prothoracic and anal plates and thoracic legs dark brown or black; abdomen dark reddish brown; pinacula brown, or concolorous with integument, inconspicuous [Orthotaenia undulana larva].
Pupa: Light brown, wings darker; in the larval habitation or in a spun leaf.

Taxonomic Description:


Orthotaenia undulana adult 1
Orthotaenia undulana adult 2
Orthotaenia undulana adults
External characters: 15-20 mm wingspan. Forewing ground colour ochreous-white, strigulated with silvery-grey; markings greyish-ochreous varying to olive-ochreous mixed with blackish brown; basal and sub-basal fasciae confluent, forming a well-defined basal patch, its outer edge outward-oblique to middle, emarginate dorsally; median fascia well-defined, narrow on costa and dorsum, its inner edge slightly concave, outer edge strongly convex and with a narrow, somewhat abrupt projection above middle and another at middle, the medial projection often containing the semblance of a black spot and partially encircling a whitish discal spot, weakly sinuate dorsally; pre-tornal marking well developed, reaching to near middle, obsolescent on costa; a small apical spot; cilia ochreous-white, sprinkled with grey, marked with fuscous at apex and on termen opposite subterminal fascia, with a fuscous sub-basal line. Hindwing grey, with pronounced anal fold protruding beyond margin of wing; cilia ochreous-white, with a fuscous sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1979).

male genitalia O. undulana
Genitalia: Uncus short, subtriangular, sharp apically; socii broad, situated laterally. Valva long and slender; sacculus terminates distally with large process covered with long, thickened, spinescent setae; cucullus with scattered spinescent setae. Aedeagus with one cornutus located on ribbon-shaped base. Gnathos with group of acute spines in middle.


External characters: Similar to male.

female genitalia O. undulana
Genitalia: Sterigma with cup-shaped central part, accompanied by a pair of lateral plates and posterior convexity. Antrum large; inception of ductus seminalis anterior to antrum. Corpus bursae with single, concave, sculptured signum.


The general colouration of the forewing varies considerably and is often tinged with pink or reddish. Only minor variation is found in the strength of the markings, which vary in colour from umber to a rich red-brown. Lightly marked specimens having the ground colour comparatively clear dull white and the markings tinged with pale olive also occur.


In the UK, moths occur from mid May to July, and larvae from April to June. Pupation occurs in the larval habitation or in a spun leaf. In Poland, moths fly from May till mid August. According to Razowski, 1989, there is only one generation yearly, the larvae occurring from April to June. Bentinck and Diakonoff, 1968, however state that there are two generations yearly in the Netherlands, moths flying from June to August, the first generation of larvae occurring in May and a second generation in July. In the Tula region in Russia, larvae occur from spring till late autumn. Larvae hibernate.

Host plants:

Lonicera, Vaccinium, Myrica, Betula, Alnus, Salix, Acer, Quercus, Ulmus, Urtica, Pinus, Juniperus, Ribes, Rubus spp. (including raspberry, Rubus idaeus), Fragaria (strawberry), Hippophae rhamnoides, Lycopus europaeus,Teucrium scorodonia, Epilobium. In North America also recorded from apple.


Larvae feed on the leaves and open buds of the host plant. On most hosts, larvae cause slight foliage damage and disfigurement but infestations are unimportant. On cultivated strawberry and raspberry, they can be of slight economic importance.


Europe to Eastern Russia; North America.


Pheromone unknown.