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Concealer Moths
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Pyralid Moths
Pyralid Moths
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Bag-shelter Moths
Prominents Moths
Tussock Moths
Tiger Moths
Tiger Moths
Owl Moths 


Leafrollers, Bell Moths - Family TORTRICIDAE

This page contains pictures and information about Leafrollers and Bell Moths that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Most Caterpillars in this family are called Leafrollers because they roll the leaves of their food plant fixed with silk. They live and pupate within this rolled leaf shelter. Some other species are leaf miners or stem borers. Some others feed on dead leaves on the forest floor.

The Caterpillars are usually small and smooth-skinned. They will do the bungee-jump, i.e., drop with a silken thread, when disturbed. 

The moths in this family usually small (wingspan 8-30mm) and have cryptic colours. They usually hide amongst the foliage of their food plants, or on the coarse bark of trees during the day. They active in late afternoon. Some species adults, the subfamily TORTRICINAE, are sometimes called Bell Moths. The moths, when in rest, have the shape of  church bell. Their forewings have the rather squared ends. 

Leafroller Caterpillar on Malvaceae
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? sp., body length 20mm
We took the above pictures on mid-summer. We found many rolled leaf shelters were built on a Malvaceae plant. We open one of the rolled leaf and found a small pale green caterpillar. Its head was black in colour.
Leafroller Caterpillar
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Nov 2007, Bulimba Creek near Sunnybank 
Leafroller Caterpillar
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Jun 2007                                                              March, 2009 
Leafroller Caterpillar
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Found this caterpillar on Jan 2009, Ford Road Research Area. 
Dog Face Bell Moth
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Acroceuthes metaxanthana, TORTRICINAE, Nov 2007, Yugarapul Park
1. Acroceuthes sp. -, by Nick Monaghan, 2007.
2. Acroceuthes metaxanthana (Walker) 1863 -, by Todd Gilligan, 2008.
Hopper-mimicking Leaf Roller Moth
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Dudua siderea (former Argyroploce siderea), OLETHREUTINAE, body length 10mm
Photos taken in Anstead Forest on Apr 2009. Does this moth mimic planthopper? The faked head is on the other side of the real head. There are even the faked legs near the base. What is the benefit of mimicking a planthopper? Well, planthopper is fast moving. Most predators will not bother to approach them. There are quite a number of different insects mimic planthopper.   
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Nov 2007, Karawatha Forest, Dentata Trail
This is also an example of Self Mimicry. Self mimicry is a term for animals that have one body part that mimics another to increase survival during an attack or helps predators appear innocuous to allow the prey extra seconds to escape. This moth's tail mimic the planthopper head. Predator usually attach the critical body part first, may be head or eyes. The moth in the above photo has the broken wings. It may have save its life some times ago.   
1. Leaf Roller Moth -, by Nick Monaghan, 2006.
2. Dudua siderea (Turner, 1916)  - by Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2008. 
3. Dudua siderea (Turner) -, by Todd Gilligan, 2008.
Unknown Leaf Roller Moth
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? sp., OLETHREUTINAE, body length 6mm
This tiny colour moth was found in Karawatha Forest Lagoon Track on Apr 2009.  

1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p873. 
2. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p274.
3. Moths - family Tortricidae -  - by Nick Monaghan.
4. Tortricidae - Insects of Townsville, Australia - Graeme Cocks. 
5. TORTRICIDAE of Australia - by Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2008. 
6. Home of -, by Todd Gilligan, 2008.

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Last updated: May 06, 2009.