Ptycholomoides aeriferana

Author: (Herrich-Schäffer, 1851)

Larch lief-tier

Species Overview:

Adult: wingspan 17-21 mm; forewing with characteristic pale golden-yellow ground colour; with blackish brown markings. Hindwing dark chocolate brown.
Larva: head light brown, with darker mottling dorsally; prothoracic plate yellowish brown, blackish medially; abdomen green, weakly shagreened; anal plate yellowish green [P. aeriferana larva].
Pupa: 8.8-10.5 x 2.2-2.8 mm, dark reddish, with blackish brown structures.

Taxonomic Description:


P. aeriferana adult
P. aeriferana male 1
P. aeriferana male 2
External characters: Wingspan 17-21 mm. Labial palpus and antenna ochreous; head and thorax yellowish ochreous. Forewing gradually expanding posteriorly, costa bent, apex short, termen convex, oblique; costal fold well developed, from base to near middle. Ground colour pale golden yellow, diffusely strigulated with dark brown; markings blackish brown, often with weakly iridescent plumbeous mottling. Hindwing dark brown (Bradley et al., 1973).

male genitalia P. aeriferana
Genitalia: Tegumen strong; uncus broad and curved, its top dilated; socii small; arm of gnathos broadening distally, termination in form of long, ventrally-spined rod. Valva short, triangular, with subdorsal area of folds and distinct sclerite fused with base of transtilla; transtilla expanding laterally and weakly folded in dorsal portions of those broad parts; sacculus provided with posterior plate. Aedeagus simple, with short coecum penis and slender caulis.


P. aeriferana female
External characters: Usually slightly larger than males, similar in colouration and markings, but sometimes with slightly paler golden-yellow ground colour.

female gen. P. aeriferana Genitalia: Papilla analis flattened laterally; sterigma broad and concave medially; antrum sclerotized inside; ductus seminalis situated anterior to antrum; signum minute, of a simplified capitate type.


In most areas, populations of Ptycholomoides aeriferana undergo a single annual generation involving an obligatory diapause in the second instar larva. They overwinter in silken hibernacula among the bark on branch and disperse to opening buds in spring, and the larvae grow to maturity feeding on new growth, pupating in May or June. Moths fly in late June, July and August. The moth is seldom seen by day. It is apparently migratory and has been taken in localities where its food plant is not found (Yasuda, 1975b; Bradley et al., 1973).

Host plants:

Acer, Betula, Larix.


Larvae of Ptycholomoides aeriferana are defoliators. During outbreaks, larch trees can be completely defoliated.


Central and South-Eastern Europe; Eastern Russia; South-Eastern Siberia, China, Korea and Japan.


Pheromone unknown.


Ephialtes sp. (Ichneumonidae)
Cephaloglypta laricis Momoi (Ichneumonidae)
Coccygomimus acutulus Momoi (Ichneumonidae)
Itoplectis alternans spectabilis Matsumura (Ichneumonidae)
Lissonota saturator Thunberg (Ichneumonidae)
Maesochorus sp. (Ichneumonidae)
Phaeogenes yezoensis Uchida (Ichneumonidae)
Phaeogenes spiniger Gravenhorst (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla disparis Viereck (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla illecebrator Villers (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla nipponica Uchida (Ichneumonidae)
Pimpla turionellae Linnaeus (Ichneumonidae)
Scambus sp. (Ichneumonidae)
Scambus coniferae Momoi (Ichneumonidae)
Theronia atalantae gestator Thunberg (Ichneumonidae)
Tranosema sp. (Ichneumonidae)
Habrocytus sp. (Pteromalidae)
Pteromalid sp. (Pteromalidae)
Cyclogastrella deplanata (Nees) (Pteromalidae)
Monodontomerus calcaratus Kamijo (Torymidae)
Meteorus sp. (Braconidae)
Rogas sp. (Braconidae)
Eupelmus sp. (Eupelmidae)
Bessa selecta fugax Rondani (Tachinidae)
Nemorilla floralis Fallén (Tachinidae)
Pseudoperichaeta insidiosa Robineau-Desvoidy (Tachinidae)