About Tortricidae

The moth family Tortricidae includes over 1,000 genera and nearly 10,000 named species (Brown et al. 2005, Baixeras et al. 2010). The only family in the superfamily Tortricoidea, Tortricidae is second only to the Gelechioidea in species diversity within the “microlepidoptera” grade (Horak and Brown, 1991; Horak, 2006). They are diverse and abundant components of tropical, subtropical and temperate forest ecosystems, and are economically important because many species are infest agriculturally important plants (Van Der Geest and Evenhuis, 1991). For example, larvae of the spruce budworm complex (Choristoneura spp.) are well-known defoliators of conifer forests by reducing timber harvest and regeneration (Sanders, 1991). Few tortricids were also used as biological control agents invasive weeds (Dhileepan, 2003; Smith and Story, 2003). Several tortricids have also become model organisms for the study of lepidopteran genetics, insect pheromones, and evolution (Roe et al., 2009). However, to better manage the pest species or, to use them in ecological studies or others, proper identification of the species is important.

The family Tortricidae divided into three subfamilies viz., the Chlidanotinae, the Olethreutinae and Tortricinae. The tortricids are a well-defined family easily recognisable by a combination of characters. Adult tortricids are mostly small to medium-sized moths folding their wings roof-like above the body at rest, sometimes nearly flat in some Tortricinae (Horak, 1998). Subfamily Tortricinae comprises of ancestral as well as derived groups and two other subfamilies are derived from this complex. Till date, there is no updated checklist to specifically point out number of species described or present in India. However, based on the compiled data from world catalogue there are around 430 species in 160 genera present in India. This is around only 4.3 percent of world species and 16 percent of world genus are described from India. Being one of the fourth important lepidopteron pest family this group is not studied comprehensively in India compare to other part of the world. The ecology of a few tortricid species, mainly those of economic importance, has been studied thoroughly. Except for few publications of isolated species descriptions, natural history, pest incidence and lists of faunistics, there had been no concerted attempts to characterize this family and place them on the updated classifications as per the world trends.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith