Ptycholoma lecheana

Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Lead-striped tortricid

Species Overview:

Adult: 16-22 mm wingspan; forewings fuscous, suffused with greenish yellow, especially basally, median fascia only slightly darker than ground colour, edged on both sides with shining metallic plumbeous; apical field usually with lustrous spot; hindwings blackish brown with pale cilia.
The Eastern-Palaearctic subspecies Ptycholoma lecheana circumclusana (Cristoph) has ferruginous brown forewings with metallic plumbeous markings.
Egg: 1.0 x 0.7 mm, oval, flat and pale green.
Larva: 18-20 mm long; bluish green above, with a darker line along the back and along each side, and pale yellowish green below; pinacula yellowish; head yellowish brown to black; prothoracic plate pale yellow to black; anal comb small; thoracic legs black [Ptycholoma lecheana larva].
Pupa: ca. 9-11mm long; very dark brown to black; cremaster with apical hook-like setae forming a strong projection; second abdominal segment only with front row of spines, these resembling oblong, obtuse bars, for the greater part fused with the pupal skin [details pupa P. lecheana ; details pupa P. lecheana circumclusana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Ptycholoma lecheana male 1
Ptycholoma lecheana male 2
Ptycholoma lecheana male 3
Ptycholoma lecheana males
External characters: Antenna dentate-ciliate. Forewing with strong costal fold from base to middle. Ground colour fuscous, variably suffused with greenish yellow from base to median fascia, except costal fold; distal half of wing sparsely suffused with yellow-ochreous or ferruginous-ochreous; median fascia diffuse and obscure, only slightly darker than ground colour, edged on both sides with shining metallic plumbeous; pre-apical spot obsolescent, its apex indicated by metallic plumbeous scales. Hindwings blackish brown; cilia whitish, with a dark brown sub-basal line (Bradley et al., 1973).

male genitalia P. lecheana
Genitalia: Uncus short, broad; gnathos simple; socii small. Transtilla entire but greatly narrowed in median part, lateral parts with minute spinules. Valva triangular, strongly elongated in terminal part; sacculus with sclerotized, freely protruding terminal projection. Aedeagus with two large dents at apex and small cornuti in vesica; all of basal projection covered on lower side with highly expanded caulis. Ninth sternite of abdomen with two large brushes of oar-shaped bristles hidden in lateral pockets (scent scales).


Ptycholoma lecheana female 1
Ptycholoma lecheana female 2
External characters: Forewing without costal fold, broader. Colour as in male, but with stronger yellowish suffusion in the distal part of forewing. Antenna minutely ciliate.

female gen. P. lecheana
gen. P. lecheana circumclusana
Genitalia: Caudal margin of posterior part of sterigma concave, median part also concave, anterior portion funnel-shaped, fused with antrum. Ductus bursae without cestum; signum with large basal plate and proportionally small dagger, capitulum absent.


In the male the fuscous ground colour of the forewing is very constant, but the yellowish suffusion in the basal half varies in strength and may be weak; when the suffusion is strong the basal half may be distinctly yellow. Occasionally the metallic plumbeous edging of the median fascia is interrupted and reduced or entirely absent. Female similarly variable in intensity of yellowish suffusion and development of metallic plumbeous markings (Bradley et al., 1973).

P. lecheana circumclusana male
The east Palaearctic subspecies Ptycholoma lecheana circumclusana (Cristoph) has reddish-ochreous to ferruginous brown forewings with two metallic leaden bands. The second band is bifurcate and has a strongly curved distal branch.


In the UK, moths occur in June and July, sometimes earlier. Eggs are deposited on various host plants. Eggs hatch in the summer, the young larvae feed on the foliage for a few weeks and then, while still small, hibernate in silken cocoons spun on the bark of twigs and spurs. They reappear in the early spring to feed on the opening buds and young foliage. Later they feed in rolled leaves, becoming full-grown in May or early June. Pupation occurs in the larval habitation or in a freshly rolled leaf (Alford, 1995)
In mainland Europe moths fly from mid to late May until mid July (record from Belgium: Bovey, 1966); in Korea, moths of the subspecies circumclusana fly between mid May and mid August (Byun et al., 1998).

Host plants:

The larvae are polyphagous, feeding on various trees and shrubs including apple (Malus), pear (Pyrus), raspberry (Rubus) cherry, apricot and plum (Prunus spp.), Abies, Acer, Fagus, Larix, Picea, Populus and Quercus.


Larvae feed on buds and leaves of fruit trees, but are rarely sufficiently numerous to cause economic damage.


Throughout Europe to Asia Minor and Trans-Caucasia; Southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, South-eastern Russia, Korea and Japan.


Pheromone unknown.


Z 11-14Ac : 1
Z 11-14OH : 3
(Minks et al., 1977)


Of larvae:
Colpoclypeus florus (Walker) (Eulophidae)
Pseudoperichaeta nigrolineata (Walker) (Tachinidae)

Ptycholoma erschoffi (Christoph)

P. erschoffi adults
male genitalia P. erschoffi
Ptycholoma erschoffi occurs in the south of the European part of Russia, Trans-Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Asia Minor and Iran. Larvae feed on various hosts belonging to the Betulaceae, Fagales, Salicaceae, Ulmaceae, Aceraceae and Caprifoliaceae. Moths lack the lustrous spot in the apical field of the forewing, and the plumbeous markings are diffused. The aedeagus of the male genitalia has one large dent at apex and a group of minute denticles along crest of upper wall (Kuznetsov, 1987).