Gold-striped Leaftier Moth
Head: Cream-coloured. Nose cone (palpi) very long, extending to back of head; cream, 2nd joint has black scales on outside.
Antenna: Reaching to mid-wing. Base (scape) short, creamy. Segments creamy, mixed with brownish-gray.
Thorax: Light yellowish-brown, faintly speckled with dark brown. Sometimes thorax has a slightly reddish to pinkish tinge. Dark line across tip of thorax.
Wings: Light yellowish brown, faintly speckled with dark brown; sometimes with a lightly reddish to pinkish tinge. A tiny dark dash at wing base on outer (costa) edge, barely visible. A dark double spot, sometimes joined, at center of base 1/3 of wing. Another slightly slanted dash at 2/3 wing. A diffuse dark speckled patch or a small spot with dark speckles on inner margin at mid-wing. Dark thick line or a series of large, blended spots follow contours of wing tip. The area between these spots and tip often darker – both the line and darker area often very faded in older individuals. Wing tip margin also has a series of small dark dots. Fringe colour same as wing, longer on inner margin.
Hindwing per literature: pale grayish brown; yellowish, irrorate with fuscous; lightly infuscated; fuscous with reddish cast – pick one.
Legs: Yellowish, covered with dark brownish scales, except tips of segments. Hind foot pale yellowish.
Abdomen: Flattened, yellowish-brown, streaked with black.
Similar Species: Twirler Moth Gerdana caritella and Psilocorsis reflexella both have darker head and thorax.
Size: 11 to 13 mm. Wingspan 20 to 26 mm.
Habitat: Deciduous forests.
Food: Feeds on a wide variety of deciduous trees: ash, elm, maple, hazel, hickory; fruit trees cherry, apple.
Flight Time: Late August to late September
Life Cycle: Assumed females lay eggs on twigs; eggs over-winter, since adults are never seen in spring. Larvae (12 mm. long) found in June and July. They roll the underside of leaves lengthwise and silk them closed in a tube-like formation, feeding on the leaf edges at night. Moving to a new leaf, it will devour the silk from the old leaf first. Caterpillars are green, with a large, shiny green head. Mature larvae have a double lighter green stripe each side of center, down length of abdomen. Pupa shiny, dark reddish brown is formed inside the leaf roll in July to early August. Adults found on tree trunks; attracted to lights.
Comments: Ontario per Pohl (2018). Essex County.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page