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Grape Leaffolder (Desmia funeralis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Grape Leaffolder.

 Updated: 1/8/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Active during the day, the Grape Leaffolder can have an impact on grapevines in one summer and then fruit production in the next.



Often found near grapevines, the Grape Leaffolder is a visitor growers prefer to never encounter. Easy to spot thanks to its black wings and large, obvious white ovals, one would think the adult is the main nuisance, but it is the larvae of this species that proves the bigger pest.

Caterpillars start out a pale orange, and become a paler yellow with blackening inside the body as it ages. The orange head has black blotches on the sides of the 'collar'. Two black spots on each side of the first segment are at the start of a line of translucent spots along the body. They feed on evening primrose, redbud, and, of course, grape leaves. Groups of larvae use their strong silk to tie bunches of leaves together. Each caterpillar will choose a leaf for itself and roll, or fold it up, creating a tube to both hide in and feed off of by day. The way they eat leaves only the skeleton of the leaf behind. At night, the caterpillars move on to fresh leaves. Once summer is over and leaves begin drying out, caterpillars fold down the edges of the leaf they are inside and eventually fall to the ground with it. They pupate in this protective, inconspicuous cover and emerge as winged adults in the spring.

Sections of mature vines with new, lighter green foliage that appears to take the place of missing leaves may indicate the presence of caterpillars. Small patches of infestation can be tolerated. If too much leaf coverage is eaten, ripening grapes may experience damage from overexposure to sunlight. Parasitic wasps, predatory flies and other insect-eating bugs help to naturally reduce the population of Grape Leaffolder caterpillars. Spraying appropriate insecticides on the vines that are affected is also effective. Populations without any kind of control can chew up enough foliage to weaken a vineyard's crop, causing the plants to spend more energy that year to replace leaves, leaving less energy for heavy fruit production the next year.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Crambidae
          Genus: Desmia
            Species: funeralis
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Desmia funeralis
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 22mm to 30mm (0.86in to 1.17in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white, black
Descriptors: white, ovals, spots, purple, round, flying, harmful, pest
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
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Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
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Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.