BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies & Moths Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)

Pitch Twig Moth (Rhyacionia comstockiana)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Pitch Twig Moth

Loading SVG image placeholder
Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the Pitch-Twig-Moth Thumbnail image of the Pitch-Twig-Moth

A native tree, the pitch pine is a favorite host plant for this moth's larvae, which ruins the ends of healthy growth.

Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Though it is a small moth, the Pitch Twig Tip's caterpillar is considered a pest. The adult female lays eggs on the ends of a pine tree's stem and when the egg hatches, the caterpillar digs into the bud, or tip. The feeding behavior of the caterpillar causes the stem tip to turn brown and curl, killing any chance of extended growth from that branch. The result is a tree with unsightly brown ends, and stunted growth. While pitch pines are popular hosts for this species, other local pines may also suffice.

The small brown and white moth is easily overlooked in a conifer forest, but an infested tree may give clues to the caterpillar?s presence. Gummy masses on tree bark that appear discolored may be a sign of activity for some types of Pitch Tip moths. Strategies to reduce infestation and damage are difficult to employ. Maintaining good tree health can aid in minimizing the interest a moth may have in a tree. Open wounds on trees from pruning and lawn trimmers may attract the insect.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Pest insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Tortricidae
View More
          Genus: Rhyacionia
View More
            Species: comstockiana
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Rhyacionia comstockiana
Other Name(s): Pitch-pine Branch Miner Moth
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 11mm (0.39" to 0.43")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white; ivory
Descriptors: golden brown bands; brown and white bands; small; flying; pine host; pest

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 11mm (0.4in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 10.5mm
Hi: 11mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Pitch Twig Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Pitch Twig Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Sitemap

Beetle Identification Butterfly Identification Caterpillar Identification Spider ID

www.InsectIdentification.org • Content ©2006- InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved. The InsectIdentification.org logo, its written content, and watermarked photographs/imagery are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and is protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. This resource uses publically-released information. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (regarding bites, etc...).Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. By submitting images to us (InsectIdentification.org) you acknowledge that you have read and understood our Site Disclaimer as it pertains to "User-Submitted Content". When emailing please include your location and the general estimated size of the specimen in question if possible. Please direct all inquiries and comments to insectidentification AT gmail.com.

www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2006-

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo