Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Leafroller Moth

I found and photographed this moth at E.B. Forsythe NWR (a.k.a. Brigantine) last week. I think it is most likely a Broken-banded Leafroller (Choristoneura fractivittana). A few days after I took my photos, I happened to see a very similar moth photographed by one of my Flickr contacts. That led me to this identification.

This moth's larval foodplants include apple, beech, birch, elm, oak, and raspberry. Many leafrollers can become agricultural pests. The Choristoneura genus includes spruce budworms, which are known to defoliate large tracts of forest during major outbreaks. Despite being a headache for the timber industry and land managers, budworms can be good for birds. Eastern Spruce Budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) is an important food source during the breeding season for several species of warbler, including Tennessee, Cape May, and Bay-breasted.

I have posted some additional views of this individual at Flickr.